Building on their momentum after raising over $13,000 during their third annual Twin Cities walk, Stop Alzheimer’s Now hit the ground running in Kansas City, Missouri, after walking 50 miles over a three-day span earlier this month. Led by founder Shaun McDuffee, the event saw nine walkers—including North Star CEO Ed Deutschlander and Dr. Russell Swerdlow of the KU Alzheimer’s Research Center—and raised just under $20,000 between the walk efforts, social media, and an event for KC Walk Efforts, which also occurred that weekend.
Along their walk routes, the team honored those battling the disease, exhausted caregivers, loved ones in need of strength, and of course, Stop Alzheimer’s Now founder Shaun McDuffee—who saw both of his grandmothers succumb to the illness, along with both his parents, who passed away in 2016 roughly a month apart from each other.
The group’s journey started on Wednesday, October 3 at the Indian Creek Trail in Hampton Park, and ended on day one in Foxhill South Park. On Thursday, October 4, the group covered more ground, trekking from the KU Clinical Research Center to Minor Park. On the third day, the team walked from Bush Creek Parkway to Marlborough Park.
Thursday was an especially exciting day for the SAN walkers, who toured the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center and KUMC Neurodegenerative Disorders Program, accompanied by the center’s Director Dr. Russell Swerdlow. In 2016, Stop Alzheimer’s Now funded a $100,000 grant to the university’s center, which went toward studying the effects of a ketogenic diet related to Alzheimer’s treatment, along with how Ketone bodies affect the nervous system. That Saturday, McDuffee also organized a massive fundraising event at Stags Creek Development, where 100 percent of all funds accumulated went directly toward the foundation.
Stop Alzheimer’s Now was founded in 2013 by McDuffee, who set a goal of walking 3,652 miles—the distance from the east to west coast of the United States, to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s and Dementia. As of September 2018, Shaun and a group of very passionate supporters have walked over 900 miles across 15 U.S. states. Their October festivities have raised those totals to 971 miles across 16 states, along with raising about $375,000 to date.
Stop Alzheimer’s Now runs entirely on volunteered time, passion, and commitment to finding a cure. The organization’s ultimate goal is to achieve “50 in 50”—walk in all 50 states to raise awareness and an average of $50,000 per state. Since SAN was founded, the organization had the privilege of funding two research grants, which was a major part of their unique commitment to eradicating the illness. The organization respectively funded two $100,000 research grants for the KU Alzheimer’s Center and University of Florida Alzheimer’s Center. A 2018 fund for $100,000 has yet to be allocated.
You can visit the Stop Alzheimer’s Now website at www.stopalzheimersnow.org