Caregiver explains how Alzheimer's has impacted his life

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke will be filled with hundreds of people walking to end Alzheimer's. This year the Roanoke chapter of the Alzheimer's Association has set its highest fundraising goal of 133-thousand dollars.

Hoyt Parris is one of the millions of caregivers across the country.

“My mom is suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's. It's been a little over three years she's been suffering,” said Parris. “The hardest part is actually seeing my dad and family members. My mom is in really good health, it's just her mind. But watching how it's affected my dad the last three years and how it affects me, my brothers, my sisters and other family members, that's the hardest part,” he explained.

As you can imagine, it's never easy watching someone you love battle this disease.

“There's so many days that I'll go visit or I'll go talk to my mama and dad on the phone and when I leave I'm upset, I'm crying. Thank goodness I have my wife's support, that strength that I need,” Parris said.

And strength is what others will find on Saturday at this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's at Elmwood Park in Roanoke, as hundreds come together to spread hope and encouragement for those affected by Alzheimer's and Dementia.

The Alzheimer's Association is not giving up in finding a cure.

“This year we are focusing on our fight for our first survivor. So the idea of the white flower. That is our new flower that we are adding for our first survivor -- that we know that, that is on the horizon and is around the corner. And we know that if we work together, we raise money, we raise awareness, we're going to get to our first survivor,” said Suzanne Cresswell of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s is happening Saturday, October 14, at Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke.

Click here to register online for the event by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 13th .

You can also register the morning of the walk at Elmwood Park between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m. and the walk kicks off at 9:30 a.m.