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Veteran's Center walking to raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO)-Staff, residents and volunteers came together today at the Veterans Center for their annual Alzheimers Walk to raise awareness for the debilitating disease.


Sixty-five-thousand Oklahomans have Alzheimer's Disease. According to the Alzheimer's Association, that number will keep increasing until a cure is found. Staff and residents have been raising awareness for the disease all week and ended it with a walk around the patio.

"It feels like the most empty, I felt so helpless,” said Hostaks

Mary Hostaks says her life completely changed one morning after her husband started calling her different names.

" He came down the hall with the most serious look and he said is your name Ellen and I said Jim we have been married 34 years you know my name is Mary. He was very serious and I knew I had to do something”, said Hostaks.

Hostaks immediately began getting help for her husband. Over a years’ time she watched the disease progress and take over her husband’s life.

"It's a heartbreaker, it’s probably the worst thing that I have ever had to face in my life, but I give God the credit for giving me the strength to get through every step of it or I couldn't be here today”, said Hostaks.

In America, approximately, every 67 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's disease. Veterans Center Assistant Administrator Craig Kelley says from the outside looking in people who have Alzheimer's are normal, but they never know how much the disease affects them.

"If you meet one person with Alzheimer's you have only meet one person with Alzheimer's, they are like a snowflake every person is different their capacity to remember to interact to care for themselves it’s all different”, said Kelley.

Hostaks says walking by her husband’s side today made her so happy. Not only was she able to raise awareness for him, but others who are battling this disease.

"People need to know what Alzheimer's is all about and I am hoping that it will show a lot of people”, said Hostaks.

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