CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- 5.4 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease, and if a cure isn't found, that number is expected to triple by the year 2050. This weekend hundreds in the Tennessee valley will lace up their shoes to help find a cure.
In this Eye On Health report, we meet two women on a mission to make a difference.
Unfortunate circumstances brought these two women together.
"The most difficult part has been the way it changes my whole family's life. It doesn't affect just one person it affects everybody in the whole family," said Christie Walker
Christie was a caregiver for her father who has Alzheimer's disease. But as his condition worsened she had to put him in a nursing home. That's where she met Trisha Matthews.
"It's a very sad journey, this disease takes away their mind, their love for life, it is a sad disease," said Trisha.
Trisha's mom who passed away several months ago from Alzheimer's disease was in the room next to Christie's father.
"We worked as a team, I knew she went to see her dad four to five times a week, I went to see my mom four to five times a week, we were always checking on them," said Trisha.
And although Trisha's mother passed away from this disease, she has taken that passion and care she had while being a caregiver for her mother and focused it now on another important mission: helping others and raising funds to find a cure for this disease.
Christie is with her every step of the journey. Both women say this isn't something you can do alone. They're both hoping to raise awareness and money by participating in this year's walk to end Alzheimer's.
"She's awesome, she feels the same way I do about it, she's just driven, she just wants to do everything she can to raise money," said Christie.
Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. And although it's too late to find a cure for their parents, Trisha and Christie hope each step they take, and the more awareness, and money they help raise, will bring researchers closer to finding a cure, so other families won't have to take this same painful journey.
"It helps me to know that maybe we can raise enough funds, so someone else doesn't have to go down his same path," said Trisha.
Monday, May 20 2013 12:12 PM EDT2013-05-20 16:12:25 GMT
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