100 gather in Medina to raise funds to fight Alzheimer’s

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Nicole Tuohey cuts a paper chain link this morning to kick off a 2-mile “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” Nicole, 23, sold about 700 links for $1 each.

MEDINA – Mary Lou Tuohey watched her father, a former engineer, wither away over 13 years to the point where he couldn’t recognize his four children. Her father died at age 65 from Alzheimer’s.

Now Tuohey’s mother is battling the disease. She has fought it for 14 years and no longer recognizes her family.

“It’s an ugly, ugly disease,” Tuohey said today when Medina hosted a “Walk to End Alzheimer’s.” About 100 people turned out for the event, which included a 2-mile walk along the canal.

Supporters set out to raise about $18,000, money that would go towards research, respite care for affected families and public education.

The purple flower, part of the Promise Garden at the Medina Canal Basin, was placed in memory of a loved one who died from Alzheimer’s. The garden included three other colored flowers to signify if someone has Alzheimer’s (blue), cares for someone with the disease (yellow) and supports the cause for more research to fight Alzheimer’s (orange).

Tuohey’s daughter was one of the biggest fund-raisers for the cause. Nicole, 23, sold links to a paper chain for $1 each. She sold more than 700 from her mother’s store, Case-Nic Cookies on Main Street in Medina. Nicole cut the link to kick off the walk this morning.

Charlene Seitzer addressed the group of walkers before they headed out on their trek. Seitzer’s husband of 50 years, Butch, died on Feb. 5 after an 11-year fight with Alzheimer’s. Mr. Seitzer maintained a friendly demeanor and his Christian faith while enduring the disease, his wife said.

“If he was here he would say, ‘Smile. God loves you and so do I.’”

About 100 people participated in a 2-mile walk that included a stretch along the Erie Canal underneath the Glenwood Avenue bridge.