59,000 Oregonians have Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s Association tries to raise $1 for each in one day

The Walk to End Alzheimer's is put on by the Oregon Alzheimer's Association. Aug. 21, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
The Walk to End Alzheimer's is put on by the Oregon Alzheimer's Association. Aug. 21, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — It’s a big goal. But they’re pumped – and they’re wearing purple.

The Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is trying to raise $59,000 — $1 for every Oregonian who has the disease. The offices of the Alzheimer’s Association on NW Naito Parkway are decked out in purple, the color of the Alzheimer’s movement.

The Oregon Alzheimer's Association office in SW Portland, Aug. 21, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
The Oregon Alzheimer’s Association office in SW Portland, Aug. 21, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

At their offices, several women, all sporting purple, were working the phones for donations.

“The idea of 59 for 59,000 Oregonians is really cool to them,” Kara Busick of the Alzheimer’s Association said. As of 1 p.m., the group had raised a little more than $3,000.

“We have to stay ahead in funding. We have to do more. We have to step up, be bigger, bolder – more purple,” laughed Busick.

The money raised will go toward care, support and research. Some of that support comes in the form of programs like the “Memories in the Making Program” KOIN 6 News was there as several Alzheimer’s patients gathered around a table, painting. One of them was Ray Waltz.

A watercolor painting in Portland, Aug. 21, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A watercolor painting in Portland, Aug. 21, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

“We get together, all of us who have Alzheimer’s, we make friends with each other. We just have a great time,” Waltz said. “You have to forget you have the disease.”

KOIN 6 News is proud to sponsor the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, September 7 at Portland International Raceway. KOIN 6 News anchor Anne State, whose mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s, will serve as MC.

For registration information – or to donate – go to koin.com/walk

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