Wake PA students walk to end Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease, like cancer or cardiovascular disease,
is an illness that links many of us together. Whether it is through our
parents, grandparents, friends, or relatives, we all know someone who has been
affected by this disease. AD is on the forefront of medical research and of
many of our minds and hearts as we battle against it. Alzheimer’s changes people
we have known all of our lives and can create a great burden for patients
and caretakers alike. It is not a normal, inevitable part of aging. It is a
disease, and it has become the passion of many in the Wake Forest School of
Medicine community to find a cure.
On September 17, 2016, the Wake Forest PA Program sent 12 students
to The Walk to End Alzheimer’s in
Asheville, North Carolina. The event began with local dancers, vendors, and speeches
from members of the community whose lives have been impacted by the disease. As
the first two members of the Wake PA team checked in, they received their purple
T-shirts saying, “The End of Alzheimer’s Starts with Me.” A large bell was rung
signifying that the team had raised over $500.
That beautiful sound would continue to ring louder through
Pack Square Park as our team made its way in. We are very happy and extremely
proud to announce that our PA student team raised $10,365 to be used for
Alzheimer’s support, care, and research!
This accomplishment was driven by the passion and care of future
medical providers. Shelby Wood, a PA student in the Class of 2018 and the
organizer of the Wake Forest walking team, spoke about the event and the impact
of Alzheimer’s disease on her life.
the age of 14, I lost my great-grandfather after a long fight against
Alzheimer's. My grandmother currently has dementia. It's difficult to put into
words how this disease affects my grandmother, her family, and friends. It
cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed. I am fighting for future generations,
for a Walk to Remember, for my great-grandfather who lost his fight, for my
grandmother, and for all the caregivers, family, and friends.
Shelby’s passion for the project inspired many
in the community to become a part of the fight. It is our hope that her passion
to end Alzheimer’s will continue to spread until the disease has been
eliminated once and for all. [written
by Andrew Gray, Class of 2018]