Four eastern Iowa cities set to host "Walk to End Alzheimer's"
Written by Danielle Wagner, Anchor/Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
WATERLOO (KWWL) -
LeaAnn Wendling lost her father, Grant, to Alzheimer's disease in 2008.
He was 73 when he passed away. LeaAnn believes his symptoms started around age 63, the same time her mother was battling ovarian cancer. Wendling thinks dealing with her mom's cancer may have led the family to miss some early warning signs for her father.
"So some of the symptoms that we may have normally recognized kind of went unnoticed until my mom would notice them," said LeaAnn Wendling.
Looking back, LeaAnn does recall significant lapses in her father's memory.
"One thing that really sticks out in my memory is they had a cabin at Delhi. Dad would always put the keys to his boat or the pontoon in the glove box, and one day he couldn't find them," said Wendling.
To help fund research to find a cure for Alzheimer's, Wendling began participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer's about five years ago.
Her team is called "Grant's Gang" -- after her father. Through luncheons, rummage sales and facebook the team of about 20 family members hopes to raise $3,000 for the Alzheimer's Association.
"If they can continue research to find a cure, then anything we can do to help them on the journey," said Wendling.
Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. LeaAnn Wendling hopes even more people will get involved in the fight to find a cure.
The Walk to End Alzheimer's is the nation's largest event to raise funds for research, care and support.
Walks are in Decorah and Coralville on September 22nd, and in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids on September 28th. Donations can be dropped off at Alzheimer's Association offices.
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