October 7, 2007
Vince Susinno has taken this walk every year since 1997 to honor his wife, Peggy.
"My wife had Alzheimer's for 12 years," said Susinno.
But this year, he walks in her memory.
"We were married 60 years when she finally passed away last year," he said
Vince is one of about 500 people who joined in the Albemarle County Memory Walk Saturday.
This is the largest annual fundraiser for the Alzheimer's Association in Albemarle County.
Walkers are hoping to raise awareness of the disease, and to raise money for research and support.
"Alzheimer's is a progressive disease that is taking our nation by storm, as our elderly population grows this disease is going to grow and we really need to stop it now," said Memory Walk Chairperson Jeanne McCusker.
The Alzheimer's Association says half of people over 85 have the disease, and a new person will develop the disease every 72 seconds.
"If you ask all your friends, your loved ones, your coworkers, everybody has somebody they know with this disease and it's only going to get worse unless we help it now," said McCusker.
The goal of the walk is to raise over $80,000 which will help with research, education, and support programs for families fighting this disease.
"This is a problem we're going to have for a long long time and hopefully we'll come up with a cure," said McCusker.
But right now, there is no cure. For Vince, at 86 years young, this walk is a step in the right direction.
"We were all consolidated for one cause and that's to cure Alzheimer's, and we're getting closer and closer every day," he said.
And Vince will be back every year, until a cure is found.
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