Community members gather for Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Holyoke | News
HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM)–Community members gathered together Sunday for the 2021 Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Western Mass News spoke with one participant who walked in memory of her mother.
Purple flowers were seen all across Holyoke Community College on Sunday, each one representing the commitment to end Alzheimer’s.
“I walk in her memory…For ‘Team Sally,’ and this will be my fourth walk,” said Julie Rivers, a walk participant from Holyoke.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s was held in a hybrid model amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People could walk in their own neighborhoods or they can walk here in person, here at Holyoke Community College,” said Rivers.
Rivers told Western Mass News that she was a caregiver for her mother who battled Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2018.
“It became very important to me to give back to the organization so I started off volunteering,” Rivers explained.
She told Western Mass News that while she was caring for her mother, she took advantage of the many programs offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, including their 24-hour hotline.
“The organization is always there to point people in the right direction, they help with things such as how to handle any emergencies that happen and they can help if you need to talk to a lawyer, or a doctor or a specialist, things like that,” said Rivers.
The organization also provided field trips for her mother while she fought the disease.
“So my mother was able to go to two different places around the state with other people who are in her same situation…and that was just really helpful for her to feel a lot more comfortable,” said Rivers.
Rivers urged anyone who may need help navigating the disease to contact the Alzheimer’s Association for help.
“That was the biggest step, making that initial phone call and then once I did it was really life-changing for me in a positive way,” said Rivers.