(Photo by Angelica Flores)

(Photo by Angelica Flores)

By Angelica Flores, Contributing writer

The national event “The Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” made its way to the campus of Bergen Community College on October 25. Originating from its first event known as Memory Walk in 1989, the walk has now gone nationwide, with various events being organized throughout the country. According to the Alzheimer’s Association website statistics, Alzheimer’s, a disease common in people over the age of 65 and the sixth leading cause of death in the country, is a progressive illness that destroys the memory and other mental functions. Some symptoms are memory loss and confusion.

Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed. In addition the Alzheimer’s Association website statistics also states that  someone in the United States develops the disease every 67 seconds and an estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages currently have Alzheimer’s disease. It is predicted that by 2050, the number will increase by 23.5 percent.

Alzheimer’s people directly, and indirectly, “My grandfather passed away from Alzheimer’s so seeing everyone come together for the walk made me realize how I am not the only one facing this,said BCC student Muntaha Rana. While no cure exists to combat Alzheimer’s yet, it does not mean that research is not being done to find one in the near future. In honor of ending Alzheimer’s by raising money for further research on the disease, BCC students, as well as county and out of county residents participated in raising money throughout the past weeks, culminating in the walk.

        A rain or shine event, participants of all ages from children, pets, young adults, and senior citizens arrived to register for the walk. Many BCC students who agreed to volunteer to help for the event were in charge of guiding participants to the registration tables, the information tables, activities, where to park on campus, the refreshments and food, and the location of the event; behind the Technology building. While starting off cloudy, cold, and drizzling in the beginning of the day, the temperature eventually warmed up for the two-mile walk. Those who raised $125 or more for the association received a t-shirt and medals in honor of their commitment and donations.

In addition, for every participant that received a wristband
, they also received a flower and were able to choose a specific color signifying something different. Purple meant in honor of a loved one lost from Alzheimer’s, orange is for everyone who supports a world without Alzheimer’s, blue represented someone with the disease, and lastly, yellow meant someone who is currently supporting another with Alzheimer’s.

One volunteer, Talyne Nganansou, another BCC student said, “I worked on distributing flowers to the people and it was really surprising to see who lost someone or has someone in their life with the disease or just here to help out; people really do care.

The walk route began behind the technology building and stretched past Ender Hall making a half circle of the campus. Afterwards, the donors were able to enjoy themselves to a Halloween costume contest, face painting, sand art, dancing, and food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, and bagels.

        The walk consisted of more than 1,910 participants and was able to reach a minimum of $333,651 BCC’s Student Government Association in fact managed to raise over $2,000 in less than three weeks for the walk outside their office thanks to the many students’ and faculty donations. While a cure is still unknown for the disease, every step forward in the right direction matters and thanks to all the fundraising and dedication to find a cure, the world is one step closer to ending Alzheimer’s.