Thousands Turn Out for Tulsa Alzheimer's Walk

Thousands of area residents turned out Saturday morning in south Tulsa to raise awareness and participate in this year's Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Back in 2012, the Tulsa Walk to End Alzheimer's raised over $340,000, according to a press release. And this year the event hopes to raise just as much while also spreading the word about the disease that affects more than 5 million Americans.

A spokesperson for the Tulsa event stated that last year "more than $51.8 million [was] raised nationwide for care, support and research efforts for those impacted by Alzheimer's."

And those impacted by the disease not only affect them, but also their families and even the nation. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the disease will cost the nation an approximate $203 billion this year and is expected to rise $1.2 trillion by 2050.

Here are a few more facts about the disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the nation:

- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia

- Last year 15.4 million caregivers provided approximately 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care valued at $216 billion.

- Another American develops the disease every 68 seconds

And here in Oklahoma those facts hold just the same. According to a fact sheet from the association, in 2010 there was a 19 percent rise in the number of reported cases compared to back in 2000.

Tulsa's Walk to End Alzheimer's aims to help participant's learn more about the disease and providing people with advocacy opportunities, support programs and services.

Saturday's event kicked off with an opening ceremony and a 1.5-mile walk. Children wanting to participate also could with the 100-yard Kids Dash.

If you weren't able to participate in this year's walk or you're looking for more information on Alzheimer's Disease, head over to the national association's website. There's even a 24/7 helpline: 1800 272 3900.