This Oklahoma family reflects on loved ones, connections found at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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The Walk To End Alzheimer's: the Webb family has been taking part since the early days, walking in memory of the patriarch of their family, George Webb.
And it was early on -- they found a connection they never expected.

"And you think, 'ok we're going to have to go through this completely alone' and when I went to the first walk and they did it out in the outfield where they put the flowers up- they finally, unfortunately, had so many flowers they couldn't do it this way anymore..." said Jim Webb.

Those were the early days of Alzheimer's awareness for the Webbs.

A family with history.

"Back in the old days they called hardening of the arteries or senility and I knew my grandfather my dad's dad had been senile and I knew he just didn't remember things when I was a kid.

But when the disease started affecting his dad, Jim, his mother Nancie, and his siblings knew they had to make a decision.

"We had to move them just as soon as we knew he was going to be diagnosed, move them out of their home. They lived on a small acreage in northwest Oklahoma City that took a lot of upkeep and dad would mow the lawn and he would move the same circle repeatedly...we knew it was a safety concern," remembered Jim.

As they moved his parents into assisted living, Jim was learning more about this silent thief.

"I started looking into the disease was and was terrified."

"It's a long goodbye, you just watch pieces of the person you've known your entire life just leave."

Jim and I shared some personal experiences with Alzheimer's, how it creates a ripple effect through the family.

One of Jim's five boys put it this way:

"It's almost like grandpas brain has a rolodex that he can like randomly find things but he can't go search for something."

Like myself, Jim is concerned about his golden years down the road. He is a fierce fundraiser with his co-workers at Chesapeake bringing in tens of thousands of dollars for the Oklahoma City walk.

When you take part in The Walk To End Alzheimer's, you can't help but be overwhelmed by the flowers, representing those who died from the disease and those in the fight right now.

"It's heartbreaking but I think it's giving attention to the disease that it's needed for so long. When you look at the funding that was going into research, it just paled compared to every other disease. It's finally getting up-to-par because people are realizing the impact on our society economically and otherwise," said Jim.

And while it's critical to raise money for research, The Walk is so much more. Like warriors marching into battle, determined to win...for every family.

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