Walking to end Alzheimer’s

LIHUE — The colors of the flowers highlighted the different reasons people were at Kukui Grove bright and early Saturday morning.

Each color represented the degrees with which people have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

“Take a look at the symbolic flowers you hold,” Ron Wood, host of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, told a group of 160 people who took part in the two-mile event. “These flowers represent the promises we have come together to fulfill — a colorful display of the intent to honor, to remember, to care, and to fight.”

Orange flowers represented a person’s support for the cause and the vision of a world without the incurable disease; yellow symbolized those who support or care for someone with Alzheimer’s; purple was for those who’d lost someone to Alzheimer’s; and blue was for those who are living with it today.

“Regardless of what color flower you’re holding, you are not alone in facing Alzheimer’s,” Wood said. “You are certainly not alone in this fight. These flowers are our reasons to end Alzheimer’s. This is our fight to win.”

The fundraiser and awareness walk got underway at 8 a.m. and benefited the Alzheimer’s Association, Kauai.

The top individual fundraiser honors went to Rona Miura, who raised more than $1,400.

The county’s Office of Elderly Affairs team, the Memory Keepers, with more than a dozen members, collected more than $8,500 of the $18,639 raised during the campaign.

Garden Island Healthcare, a part of Ohana Pacific Management with Kauai Adult Day Health Center, was recognized as the team with the most members. The group was led by Kurt Akamine and a large team from the Hale Kupuna Heritage home in Omao.

The Kauai Alzheimer’s chapter, joining the chapters in Honolulu, Hilo, Kona and Kahului in hosting walks, provides counseling and support group meetings for families who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.

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