Students at Chancellor Elementary School in Spotsylvania County have been putting together fabric flowers with colorful petals that tell a story of the impact of Alzheimer’s disease.

On Saturday, participants will select one of the flowers from the “Promise Garden” before they embark on the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Orange flowers represent those who support the cause and vision of a world without the disease, which slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.

Yellow is for those who care for someone with Alzheimer’s. Nationwide, the disease affects 5.8 million people, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Purple represents those who have lost someone to the disease, the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Blue is for those living with the condition, for which there is no cure.

“We are hoping one day we will have a flower for someone who is a survivor,” said Krista Wells, who serves on the committee for the Fredericksburg walk.

On Saturday, each walker will select one of the fabric flowers, then the groups will raise their collective colors during the opening ceremony.

“It is very moving to see how Alzheimer’s disease has touched the greater Fredericksburg community,” said Sandy Grady, a director at the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Richmond.

The walk will be held at the Fick Conference Center, 1301 Sam Perry Blvd. on the campus of Mary Washington Hospital. Check-in and registration starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by the opening ceremony at 9 a.m. and the walk at 10 a.m.

Those who want to walk can choose a route of 1K or 3K. Dogs are allowed on leashes, strollers are welcome and wheelchairs can access the 1K route. Children can participate but must be registered. Registration can be done online at alz.org/walk or at the event.

The goal is to raise $187,000 for research.

More information is available by contacting Grady at 804/967-2580 or sgrady1@alz.org. The Alzheimer’s Association also has a Fredericksburg chapter at 2217 Princess Anne St., and a helpline accessible around-the-clock for those who need support or have questions. The hotline’s number is 800/272-9300.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425

cdyson@freelancestar.com

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