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Emily Kent is walk chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s – West Alabama, as well as a University of Alabama student.

Alzheimer’s isn’t a disease affecting a lone person with a diagnosis; caregivers, family and friends also feel its devastating effects. But next month you can help raise awareness for the disease and raise money for research.

“There is a lot of aspects of caregiving that can be extremely emotionally and physically exhausting,” said Emily Kent, walk chair of the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s – West Alabama.

She and many others are walking Sunday, Oct. 27 at Snow Hinton Park in Tuscaloosa. In-person registration and packet pickup begins at 1 p.m., followed by an opening ceremony at 3 p.m. and the walk at 3:15 p.m.

The walk, which takes place each year in more than 600 communities across the nation, is the world’s largest event focused on Alzheimer’s. The association helps raise awareness and funding for research, along with care and assistance for those affected by Alzheimer’s.

But for Kent, it’s about so much more. Her father was caregiver to her grandfather, who passed away from the disease when she was just 2 years old. After his death, Kent said participating in the walk became a family tradition., and that tradition followed her to college

“When I went off to college I wanted to find a local chapter here to get involved,” she said. “I had never done anything related to the committee or planning of the walk, but the opportunity presented itself. I’ve now been the chair and this will be my third year.”

While she’s a senior at the University of Alabama studying music therapy, her role as the Alzheimer’s walk chair includes making sure the event comes together for organizers and participants.

The Tuscaloosa chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is hosting a challenge week Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. Anyone can participate by following the chapter’s Facebook page right here. Potential prizes include items from City Cafe, Half Shell Oyster House, the Bama Theatre and more.

With 279 participants and 36 teams, the walk has raised nearly $18,000 of their $60,000 goal.

To register, sign up at and find the Tuscaloosa walk page. Participants can sign up individually or as a team.

Kent said she encourages everyone to get involved and commit to making a positive impact on the Alzheimer’s community.

“It’s important to bring awareness,” Kent said. “It affects a lot of different people in a lot of different walks of life, and I think sometimes we forget that.”

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