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Alzheimers disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s association, and one in three seniors dies of the disease or related dementias.
One Southmoreland junior helped take a step in finding a cure for the disease that tragically took her grandmother’s life.
Lauren Metz lost her grandmother, Kathryn “Kay” Thieler, on Sept. 11, 2016.
“It was terrible to see her suffer like that. She had (Alzheimer’s) since I was 7 years old,” Metz said.
Metz watched for about eight years as her grandmother struggled. Family holidays and parties were never the same.
“She would wake up and think she was a teenager or a little kid. Sometimes, she said she just wanted to die,” Metz said. “Hearing her say that she just wanted God to take her really hurt me.”
After Thieler’s death last year, Metz and her family decided to take part in the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The event took place at Twin Lakes on Sept. 23. Metz’s family is one of 71 teams in the Greensburg area.
Metz said that there were “tons” of people at the walk.
“Seeing so many people come out and support us was really cool,” Metz said.
The event’s website says that the event has raised over $66,000, 87 percent of their goal.
“It feels great to help such an amazing cause,” Metz said. “I hope that someday there will be a cure for Alzheimer’s so that future generations don’t have to go through the struggles my family and I went through.”
Donations to Metz’s team can be made at http://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2017/PA-GreaterPennsylvania?team_id=415914&pg=team&fr_id=10074. All proceeds will go towards Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.