“Clearly I didn’t think dementia would apply to me. I was too young. I was just tired.”
Roberta Ferguson was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. The morning of Saturday, September 23, she stood in front of nearly 2,000 people at the Reno-Sparks Walk to End Alzheimer’s, sharing her story and encouraging others to join the fight. “I just froze. I was just sick. I thought ‘this couldn’t be happening to me,’ but it did,” said Ferguson as she recounted the moment she learned about her diagnosis. “I never thought I’d be detained, but here I stand and my family is here with me today.”
Ferguson went on to say she wished she knew more about Alzheimer’s, as her grandfather and aunt both had the disease. Ferguson and her husband, Neal, now travel, joined a book group and ride bikes to make sure they’re exercising their body and brains.
Thanks to the efforts and resources available through the Alzheimer’s Association Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter, Ferguson and her husband have joined an early stage support group. They offer many resources, including a 24/7 helpline and educational programs.
During the event, there is a flower ceremony and each flower represents a reason for supporting the cause.
- Orange: support the cause and a vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease
- Purple: lost someone to Alzheimer’s disease
- Yellow: caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease
- Blue: has Alzheimer’s disease
I walk to support my late Grandma Cannito and Great Aunt Lisa who both had dementia. Which flower represents your reason for supporting the Alzheimer’s Association?