LEE COUNTY, Fla -- A touching tribute to families affected by Alzheimer's and dementia. Dozens gathered in Centennial Park for the Light to Remember ceremony.
We're told an estimated 23,000 people in Lee County are affected by Alzheimer's disease. And tonight, some of those families affected gathered to support one another in a special luminary ceremony.
As the sun slowly sinks below the horizon, Ellie Fox joins dozens of others lighting a candle in a simple tribute. "When he was well, he was a brilliant man. That's what's so tragic about Alzheimer's," she said.
Her husband was diagnosed when he was just 56 years old and since then for more than 20 years the family has been on a struggling journey.
"Its taken a lot of toll on the family and the center's been very helpful for us to take care of him," said Edward Fox.
That's why their company Fox Electronics has been a sponsor of this event: A Light to Remember.
"It's good to see that people are supporting the research and treatment but it's also sad because there's so many. so its a bit of mixed emotions," said Ellie Fox.
More than 700 luminaries glow representing loved ones. Money donated from the event goes to the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center.
"It really helps us raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and the struggles that family caregivers are faced with every day as they're trying to provide care for someone with Alzheimer's," said Dotty Amand, Executive Director of the resource center.
They're gathered together finding strength in each other and holding out hope one day there will be a cure.
This is the 14th year for the event, which is always held the 4th Thursday in January.
The mission of the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center is to provide educational, informational, and supportive resources for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders and their caregivers in Lee County, Florida.
The Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer's Resource Center, Inc.
10051 McGregor Boulevard
Ft. Myers, FL 33919
Check out their website: http://www.alzheimersswfl.org/index.asp