Why I Walk: Melanie

“On December 12, 2013, my family received the news my 59 year old mother had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). It didn’t take long to search the internet and figure out how terrible this disease was and how our lives were going to change very quickly.

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Melanie and her mother

While the Alzheimer’s Association is easily identified as a resource for those living with and caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia), many people do not realize their services are available to caregivers and those diagnosed with other forms of dementia.

I walk to raise awareness for other types of brain diseases. Numbers of people, even the most educated doctors, have not heard of FTD and are not familiar with the signs and symptoms. Much like Alzheimer’s it is difficult to diagnose and can be mistaken for other illnesses or disorders.


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Melanie, her dad and her sister at the 2015 Quincy Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Last year was my first year participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s but it won’t be the last. While there is no cure for dementia, and it is ultimately fatal, I hope with the work the Alzheimer’s Association is doing and the awareness walk participants are bringing to the disease, there one day will be. By calling attention to the disease, I hope others become familiar with the signs, symptoms and overwhelming statistics.


The company I work for, Dot Foods, became a National sponsor in 2015. The founder of Dot Foods was stricken with Alzheimer’s so it hits close to home for many employees. Last year, as a company, we contributed over $151,000 to the Association. Our largest fundraiser in our Illinois location this year will, be the Beat You Muddy obstacle run. Dot will match dollar for dollar all proceeds from this fundraiser.” Find out more about Beat You Muddy here.

Melanie is participating in the Quincy Walk to end Alzheimer’s as an Illinois DotFoods team member. She hopes to raise $500 in honor of her mother, who passed at the age of 61 on May 16, 2015.

Want to join Melanie in her fight against Alzheimer’s and other dementias? Register for your local Walk to End Alzheimer’s today!


Want to share your “Why I Walk” story? Email lgunty@alz.org for more information 




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