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West Orange Times & Observer Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 11 months ago

Orlando Health hosts second annual Alzheimer’s walk in Ocoee

The walk was hosted for residents and their families right ahead of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.
by: Annabelle Sikes Staff Writer

The Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation held its second annual “Walk Before the Walk” event on Tuesday, Oct. 19 on its campus in Ocoee.

"Walk Before the Walk" is an Alzheimer’s walk for local residents and their loved ones. 

The walk was hosted leading up to Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. 

According to Orlando Health, more than six million people are living with Alzheimer’s, a disease that kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined, in the United States alone. 

“It's our second year staging this event. This is our way of kicking off a month of raising awareness for this horrible disease and generating excitement for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s happening this weekend at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando,” said Judy Skilton, program coordinator for the Orlando Health Center for Rehabilitation. “Hosting a smaller walk on our campus provides our residents, many with mobility issues, and their loved ones the opportunity to participate together in promoting this cause without having to travel.”

Skitlon said last year due to COVID-19 they were not able to walk downtown at the big Alzheimer's walk because it was virtual. She said the team quickly came up with the idea to do a walk in their very own parking lot. Last year the event brought around 68 people together in support. 

This year, nearly 70 participants attended and wore T-shirts bearing the purple ribbon symbolizing Alzheimer’s awareness and carried purple
pinwheels bearing the names of loved ones suffering from the disease.

Residents of the facility’s memory care unit joined loved ones, team members and community supporters as they walked and wheeled around the planned parade route just outside the facility’s front door.

"People with dementia, it's not a seen disease, it's hard to see until it's really late in the process," Skilton said. "We have an awesome team here who truly love the people we care for."




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Annabelle Sikes is a staff writer at the West Orange Times & Observer, Southwest Orange Observer and She graduated in May 2021 from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in sociology.  Her past...

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