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Hundreds come out to support Alzheimer's Association at Reason to Hope luncheon

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2018 Reason to Hope luncheon 2018 Reason to Hope luncheon
KWWL's Abby Turpin served as emcee for the 2018 Reason to Hope luncheon KWWL's Abby Turpin served as emcee for the 2018 Reason to Hope luncheon
Keynote speaker was Dr. James Hendrix for the 2018 Reason to Hope luncheon Keynote speaker was Dr. James Hendrix for the 2018 Reason to Hope luncheon
KWWL's Abby Turpin with Paige Knebel and Natalie Meyer of the Alzheimer's Association East Central Iowa Chapter KWWL's Abby Turpin with Paige Knebel and Natalie Meyer of the Alzheimer's Association East Central Iowa Chapter

Hundreds came together Monday in Cedar Rapids for the Alzheimer's Association's East Central Iowa chapter’s Reason to Hope luncheon.  The event raises money for the work the Alzheimer's Association does to provide care for those in our area facing Alzheimer's, and also raises funds for the important research being done on the devastating disease.

Alzheimer’s is an irreversible disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.  In 2018, it is estimated that 5.7 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s dementia, a disease which is always fatal.   If the trajectory of this disease continues, by 2050, over 14 million Americans will be living with Alzheimer’s disease.

Director of Global Science Initiatives for the Alzheimer's Association, Dr. James Hendrix, was the keynote speaker for the 2018 luncheon.  Dr. Hendrix detailed how we are approaching an Alzheimer’s epidemic and what is on the horizon with research.  He also asked for those in attendance to consider TrialMatch.  These clinical studies use people with dementia or those at risk of developing it, caregivers and healthy volunteers to help advance Alzheimer's research.

The most moving part of the event was when 69-year-old Don Williams of Waterloo addressed the crowd, telling his story of his diagnosis of early-stage Alzheimer's disease just 18 months ago.  His emotional story about his determination to fight and continue to live a good life was inspiring and gave the crowd a "reason to hope" that a cure is on the horizon.

KWWL's Abby Turpin served as the emcee for the luncheon.  Abby has been involved with the Alzheimer's Association for years and is proud to continue her involvement in Iowa.

From providing 21 support groups in the chapter area, to presenting educational and training opportunities in the community, to responding to critical situations 24/7 with the help of their toll-free Helpline and through in-person care consultations, the Alzheimer’s Association served over 3,000 individuals in East Central Iowa impacted by dementia in the last year.  If you or a family member could benefit from the work of the Alzheimer's Association, contact them here.

And if you're interested in participating in TrialMatch, click here.

The luncheon raised about $40,000, according to organizers.

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