People hope Alzheimer's walk will help find a cure

BRISTOL, Tenn. - More than 500 people laced up their shoes Saturday to walk to find a cure. It was all for Alzheimer's disease and for families dealing with this disease; there are now drugs to slow the progress, but still nothing to cure it.

A beautiful Saturday morning and many people are spending it walking for a cure, "I've been a proud dad for 57 years but today I'm even prouder of them for everything they put forth for this cause," says participate Ray Oddinger.

Oddinger and his family are out walking for his wife, Jo Jo, they alone raised $10,000, "In my family we've had 3 victim of Alzheimer's and we know that unless we find the cause we'll never find the cure," adds Oddinger.

Oddinger tells us his wife was started having signs of Alzheimer's five years ago and it's been getting worse, "My wife is not able to walk and hasn't for some time for months now. We haven't been able to carry on a conversation," says Oddinger.

The walk was for people like Jo Jo and they hope with every step they take and every dollar they make they can find a cure, "One that we love, someone we know is being diagnosed with Alzheimer's and there's over 5 million people right now in the U.S. that has Alzheimer's disease," says Debbie Boggs with the Alzheimer's Association.

Boggs tells us Alzheimer's is a disease where plaque forms on the brain, "That plaque eats away at the good brain cells basically so the plaque cannot be reversed," says Boggs.

Meanwhile Ray tells us now he holds on to the good memories with his wife, "I can still get a smile from her and that's the thanks that I'm looking for," adds Boggs.

Saturday's race raised more than $60,000.

If you need help caring for a patient with Alzheimer's, the Alzheimer's Association in Johnson City has a 24-hour help line you can call at 800-272-3900.

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