We all have a reason to walk, and my reason is two amazing women who were an integral part of my life. The first is my loving and amazing mother and the second my sweet gentle grandmother - my two Katies - Katie Grunendike and Katie Hartung. Both of these amazing women made a huge impact in my life, and both of them saw their lives dramatically changed and their memories erased by this dreadful disease. I walk for them. I also walk for the 60 year-old woman who no longer recognizes her husband, for the 45 year-old man with Down Syndrome who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia, for the 90 year-old grandmother whose memories have all but disappeared, and for the countless other men and women whose lives are forever changed.
An estimated 6.2 million Americans live with Alzheimer's dementia, including 18,000 people over the age of 65 here in South Dakota. Nationally, the number of persons affected is expected to increase to as many as 12.7 million by 2050. The future of our country is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
I'm asking for your support to help continue the fight. Your donation to my team, Katie x 2, will help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into methods of prevention, potential treatments, and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer's. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care and support, education, and a wide-range of resources in communities nationwide.
Thank you for joining me in this critical effort! Together we can work toward a world without Alzheimer's and other dementia.
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