Kearney raises $43K to help end Alzheimer’s

Reposted from Kearney HUB

KEARNEY — There were laughter and tears as Kearney High School Band members raised 67 purple flowers into the wind Sunday afternoon at Yanney Heritage Park.

The flowers were a reminder to the almost 1,000 people at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s that every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s.

Susan Bigg [Kearney Dawn Rotary] has been affected by the disease personally. Her husband, Stan, has Alzheimer’s. Bigg said she is thankful The Walk to End Alzheimer’s raised $43,176, which was $1,176 more than their $42,000 fundraiser in 2014, according to Susan Peterson, community outreach specialist the Alzheimer’s Association of Kearney.

Bigg handed out Alzheimer’s bags and her daughter Stephanie Dickey helped with events behind the scenes. Both gave up their time, donated and raised money for Stan — a father, a husband lost to the disease.

“It is difficult to watch a person with a photographic memory who could scan through three newspapers in an hour and tell you everything that was in the paper not remember how to do the simplest of activity. Our lives have changed dramatically over the past 15 years,” Bigg said.

She worked side by side with her husband in their business, Horizon Designs of Kearney. When he began to forget the small details, Bigg became alarmed.

Their doctor caught Stan’s Alzheimer’s in the early stages. However, Stan is now in a nursing home instead of enjoying the golden years at home with his wife.

When asked about how to talk to someone with Alzheimer’s disease, she said it’s better not to ask questions.

“You are better to tell stories and reminisce with someone with dementia. Asking questions is too challenging and frustrating for the person suffering with Alzheimer’s or dementia,” she said.

“Read a story, look at books of interest, go on drives, take tours of interest, like the Classic Car (Collection),” she advised.

Bigg said Alzheimer’s is a silent killer, robbing families of memory-making with the person they love. Although Stan cannot carry on a conversation or recognize Susan most of the time, she is thankful he can still pray and recite prayers.

“It’s a blessing to me that he still has his faith and he can still pray,” she said.

Bigg, her daughter and Peterson were excited this year’s event was so well-attended.  Read more at

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