My first real experience with Alzheimers was in the very early 80's, when one morning we received the news about a family member. Shirley's grandfather, affectionately known as 'Pappy Jim,' woke up one morning and didn't know who he was or where he was. He quickly came out of it, but it was the beginning of Alzheimer's, and a short road to his passing.

How terrible it was to watch a once happy-go-lucky man who loved his family be taken away by something that doctors have yet to find a cure for.

According to alz.org, Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and there are 5.4 million people right here in our country battling the disease. Alzheimer's is not a disease just for the elderly, it can strike someone in their 40's and 50's.

So what can we do about it? The best thing is make sure that doctors and researchers have the funding to continue the search for a cure, and to make sure that the 37,000 Mainer's--individuals and caregivers--have the support they need.

Please consider taking part in the 'Walk to End Alzheimer's.' It's happening on October 6, and will start at Hollywood Casino on Main St. in Bangor, and will loop three miles through the west side of the city.

For more information you visit this wesbite: alz.org/maine, or you can email Carol Higgins Taylor, Director of Communications at Eastern Area Agency on Aging at chtaylor@eaaa.org, or call 800-432-7812.