• 48°

A community walk to remember

The time has come for Farmville’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

The walk, held nationwide by the Alzheimer’s Association, has brought the local community together for years. Walkers and volunteers will gather Thursday, Oct. 3, at Longwood’s Lancaster Hall, 201 High St., to raise awareness about the disease and fundraise for a cure.

The walk brings together count- less members of the community, including local businesses. One such business is Edward Jones. Financial Adviser Kerby Moore of

the Third Street branch in Farmville is ready to play his part in the fight.

Moore’s team, A Walk to Remember, will don purple and green shirts and head out on Thursday to represent their business’ support for the walk.

“Edward Jones, my firm,” said Moore, “is the National Presenting Sponsor, so we give millions and millions of dollars to this every year. One of the big reasons is the majority of our clients are older and Alzheimer’s affects so many people.”

Moore continued, “It’s horrible. If you’ve got Alzheimer’s, it can totally wipe out your savings and investments. So, we want to help our clients in any way we can.”

Moore’s team, like most teams that participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, has set up a fundraiser on the Alzheimer’s Association’s website.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 18, they had reached 50 percent of their $1,500 goal.

“And, of course, we don’t just talk the talk— no pun intended. We walk the walk!” Moore said. “I think this will be our fourth year, maybe. We are going to have 11 or 12 people on our team that are actually going to physically walk. You never know. Last year, we had several friends and clients just show up at the last minute and walk with us. That was great.”

The cause, however, is especially meaningful to Moore.

“I’ll tell you what it means to me personally. Both my mom and my dad had horrible dementia. It’s a horrible way to go. Now, I’m not sure what my mom had. Nobody quite figured that out, but my dad was absolutely 100 percent Alzheimer’s, no doubt about it,” he said.

“I think it was President Reagan who called it the “long goodbye,” and that’s it. That’s true. Everyday you say goodbye to something you loved about your mom or your dad,” Moore continued.

Although the disease has caused Moore and his family a world of distress, he is hopeful about the future.

“Here’s the good news,” he explained. “The Alzheimer’s Association actually believes that the first person to be cured from Alzheimer’s is probably out there. They’re making wonderful strides in research, and the first person to be cured from it is probably alive today. Not 50 years from now. They’re probably walking around now, and that’s good news.”

Despite his team’s efforts to raise aware- ness for the disease, Moore was quick to give credit to someone else in the community that has had a real impact on the walk and community members battling Alzheimer’s.

“It’s a real team effort, and I don’t want to pretend that my office is really the shaker and mover in this community. Have you talked to Marion Kyner?” Moore asked.

A psychiatric clinical nurse specialist at the Woodland Inc. in Farmville, Kyner spends her days working with patients who have dementia and Alzheimer’s.

“When I picked up doing the caregiver support group, I became a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association. Then I started doing more with the walk to fundraise and raise awareness,” Kyner said. “Right now, we have a basket raffle that we’re doing. Each department is putting together a gift basket. Then we sell raffle tickets and have a drive on the day of the walk.”

The Woodland has its own team, “The Woodland Inc.,” that people can donate to using the Alzheimer’s Association website.

“I work with people with mental health issues and adjustment disorders who are adjusting to changes in their lives but also Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Of- ten times they overlap,” said Kyner.

“I hope to strengthen their coping skills,” she for it now. Just sitting with people and talking with them and seeing how the brain works, and what’s not work- ing and really what’s still working — help- ing people to see that there’s still a person in there, and they’re doing the best that they can. They’re really doing the best that they can.”

Kyner also works with the family members of those suffering from Alzheimer’s to learn how to cope and care for their loved ones. The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a yearly opportunity for her to spread awareness.

“We need to find a way to understand this disease and treat it. The Alzheimer’s Association’s fight is to do more research to find a cure, and to support families. That is my passion and my mission, to work with folks here at the facility at the Woodland but also to raise awareness in the community,” Kyner said.

While Moore emphasized Kyner’s expertise and the Woodland’s efforts for the walk, Kyner gave her own praise to Edward Jones and Moore’s team. “They are the backbone,” she said in reference to the business’ dedication to the fundraiser. “They really are.”

Additional Alzheimer’s information and support can be found by calling the help line at (844) 440-6600.