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Unhealthy air forces organizers to postpone the Walk to End Alzheimer's

Unhealthy air forces organizers to postpone the Walk to End Alzheimer's

TRI-CITIES, Wash. – The smoke is choking out meaningful events in our area that many are looking forward to, including the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

"It's a disease that robs people of their dignity in a way that's hard to imagine until you've seen it," said Kay Lehmann, a Walk to End Alzheimer's committee member.

Lehmann lost her father to Alzheimer's, and she said victims don't just forget memories, they forget how to walk and even swallow.

"Watching my father pass away from it has made me a really passionate volunteer for this organization to try and help end this disease," she said.

The Walk to End Alzheimer's is one of the largest events that has fallen prey to the overwhelming forest fire smoke in the valley.

"We are having to postpone it because of the air quality, we don't want people out there in this unhealthy air, especially those with Alzheimer's who join us for the walk and their care givers," Lehmann explained.

The walk serves to support the 100,000 Washingtonians suffering with Alzheimer's and their 320,000 caregivers. Organizers are moving the Walk to Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Columbia Park Band Shell in hopes for clearer skies.

"We are hoping that with this delay in holding the walk that we'll have even more walkers and we'll be able to raise even more money to help end this disease," Lehmann said.

With these fundraisers and awareness walks, she said they have made significant strides in Alzheimer's research.

"We are hoping to see the end of Alzheimer's very soon,” she said. “Hopefully, in my lifetime, but for sure in my grandchildren's lifetime."

The smoke may have snuffed out their event, but Lehmann is looking forward to a successful walk come October.

There were 600 participants expected at Saturday’s walk, so with it being postponed due to unhealthy air quality organizers ask that you spread the word and let family, friends and coworker's know it will be on Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. at Columbia Park Band Shell in Kennewick.

To learn more about the walk, visit Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

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