LAWTON, Okla._Hundreds in a sea of purple gathered at Elmer Thomas Park to bring awareness to the nation's battle, with a debilitating disease. The Walk to End Alzheimer's is put on by the Alzheimer's Association. In America, approximately, every 67 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's disease.
The purple army as they call themselves are facing the disease head on through major fundraising efforts like Saturday's walk to help find a cure, along with support programs and clinical trials.
"Amazing event and the people that are involved are so caring and so giving it makes a big difference," said Jeri Anderson.
One of organizers Jeri Anderson says she was involved with this event for about 6 years, before her mother was diagnosed just 3 years ago.
"I say all the time my mom can't remember anymore, so I remember for her so I tell her all the time who I am and where her kids are and I tell her all of that, because she can't remember anymore," said Anderson.
This walk it meant to mark a celebration of the lives of those who are affected by Alzheimer's with each flower held high each one holds a meaning.
Blue are people living with Alzheimer's, yellow the caregivers, purple are for those who have lost a loved one and orange are for those who are in support of the cause. Michelle Dean walked in memory of her Grandpa Joe holding a purple flower. She lost him 13-years-ago. She says she works at a nursing home and knows that awareness is key when it comes to Alzheimer's.
"We don't understand it all you know. I lose my keys. We all do silly things there is definitely some significant signs there that I recognize more now than I ever did," said Dean.
As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with the disease is expected to increase 40-percent from the over 5-million affected in 2015. Anderson says every step they took Saturday was a step toward ending Alzheimer's disease.