Newsmakers: Marty Cohelo/Alzheimer’s Walk

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REDWOOD NEWS: Marty Coelho is the executive director of College Advancement and the CR Foundation for a College of the Redwoods.

But Marty is here today as a volunteer spokesperson for the Humboldt Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Welcome, Marty.

MARTY COELHO: Thanks, Ross Glad to be back.

REDWOOD NEWS: Yeah, absolutely. So, Marty, the walk to an Alzheimer’s event is coming up quickly on October 14th. Why should people participate in this year’s walk?

MARTY COELHO: At this point, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia impacted probably nearly every family in Humboldt County. There’s been a doubling of the rate of Alzheimer’s just over the last ten years, and we’re expecting a doubling of the number of patients by 2050. So it’ll be more than 13 million people that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. How that translates locally is we have 3500 families that have a loved one who’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. And more times than not, they’re being cared for by a spouse or a child, usually a daughter. The financial impact is extreme. And oftentimes the caregiver passes away before the patient because caregiving for an Alzheimer’s patient is 24 over seven and extremely stressful. So in order to really combat this, you can’t get overwhelmed by what we’re facing. You have to take action. And the best way to take actions to participate in the Humboldt walked in Alzheimer’s, provide support for our local patients, educate the community about the disease, and raise critical funds for research.

REDWOOD NEWS: But, Marty, we’re hearing a lot about the latest advancements in Alzheimer’s research, and they’ve been quite significant.

MARTY COELHO: Yes, the progress has been significant. The Alzheimer’s Association’s investments in research has led to the first drugs that battle Alzheimer’s. The disease, and they battle the disease in its earliest stages. So, it’s led to several drugs that have hit the market. But we’ve been fighting the federal government to have those drugs approved for patients that are on Medicare and Medicaid. And we’ve finally won that fight in Canada. One of the first drugs that has been developed about a lot of times is now being approved for Medicare patients.

REDWOOD NEWS: People want to participate to raise funds to fight Alzheimer’s. So how can they get involved?

MARTY COELHO: Google Humboldt Walk to End Alzheimer’s, register your team, fundraise in advance, show up at the Adorni Center on October 14th.

REDWOOD NEWS: Well, thanks for coming by today, Marty.

MARTY COELHO: Thanks for us. We appreciate revenues being one of our media partners for the Walk.

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