The purple-shirted brigade will visit Andover once again as the Alzheimer’s Association's Walk to End Alzheimer’s happens Sunday, Sept. 15.
Walkers will start at Andover Landing at Brickstone Square, continue downtown and return to Brickstone Square.
The purple t-shirts are associated with the event — that color is Alzheimer's signature color. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s has been held in Andover every September for several years.
Wearing those purple t-shirts will be scores of walkers who have lost loved ones to the disease. They include Christine Higginbottom of Methuen, who lost her once-active and independent grandmother to Alzheimer’s in 2017.
"She was diagnosed in 2014 and lost her battle in 2017,'' Higginbottom, 35, said of her grandmother. "It broke my heart to watch this vibrant, strong, independent woman just fade away. By raising money it allows me the chance to talk to others about Alzheimer's disease and how much it impacts everyone,"
Higginbottom watched her grandmother fade from being active to not being able to feed herself. The walk surrounds Higginbottom with people who truly understand what it's like to watch a loved one fade away because of Alzheimer's.
“These walks are emotional, empowering and family-oriented,'' she said. "We all want to help find a cure.''
Higginbottom has been participating in the Andover walk for five years.
"I started walking alone and now have a team of five walking with me this year," said Higginbottom, who is married and has three children.
Organizers say The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is held in 600 communities across the country, is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer’s support and research.
“We are grateful to our walk participants. They are raising the level of awareness in the community and their fundraising dollars fuel our mission,” said Ryan Vigue, director of development at the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter.
“People of all ages and abilities that join the walk find it to be an inspiring and empowering experience,'' he said. "Together, we are working towards our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease.''
For information or to volunteer or participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, call 800-272-3900 or visit www.alzwalkMANH.org.
IF YOU GO
What: Alzheimer’s Association's Walk to End Alzheimer’s
When: Sunday, Sept. 15. Registration at 8:30 a.m., ceremony at 9:30 a.m., walk starts at 10 a.m.
Where: Walkers start at Andover Landing at Brickstone Square, continue downtown, return to Brickstone.
More information: Call 800-272-3900 or visit www.alzwalkMANH.org.