Cheney boy whose grandma has Alzheimer’s vows to fight for a cure ‘for the rest of eternity’
SPOKANE, Wash. — The pandemic isn’t stopping people from making a difference in the world.
Hundreds in Spokane County walked for a cause on Saturday, raising awareness and money to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
About 120,000 people in Washington are living with the disease. The Alzheimer’s Association believes an additional 20,000 people will be diagnosed in the next five years in the state alone.
Nine-year-old Jaxon Shuman is on a mission to end the disease for his grandma.
“It was definitely sad,” said Jaxon. “I think I cry more than my mom now.”
Grandma Kaye was diagnosed in 2014. Jaxon says she’s his best friend. You can see that love in photos of the two of them together, even though Kaye may not always remember him.
“I didn’t understand it at the time, but over the years, I kind of gotten more aware,” said Jaxon.
This is the fourth year Jaxon and his family have raised money for the Alzheimer’s Association, except this year Grandma Kaye wasn’t able to join them.
Just like everything else, the pandemic changed plans for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event. Normally, about 1,300 people will walk through Riverfront Park together. Instead, about 700 people signed up this year, and are all walking separately. Even though they can’t be together, they’re still walking toward the same goal.
“The idea is they’ll still be walking with the people they care about and they’ll be walking to be making a difference against the disease, Alzheimer’s and other dementia’s,” said Leslie Woodfill, walk manager.
Because of the pandemic, Jaxon can’t see his grandma as much as he used to.
“When I first saw my grandma again today, I was happy,” said Jaxon. “I think I cried because I was sad, too, because I’m pretty sure I scared her when I came in.”
Still, he visits- reading to her, playing the guitar.
“It’s just fun to see her smiling again,” said Jaxon.
He hopes one day he can help his grandma and thousands of others battling the disease.
“I want people to know that there’s always going to be people we’re trying to help find a cure. They’re not alone trying to help,” said Jaxon.
When asked how long he’ll keep walking?
“For the rest of eternity,” Jaxon said.
There’s still time to donate. The Alzheimer’s Association is taking donations through the end of this year. You can leave one by CLICKING HERE.
COPYRIGHT 2020 BY KXLY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED.