Local News

September 27, 2013

Cross-country trek brings attention to plight of Alzheimer's

William Glass is moving from the Chicago area to the Atlanta area, but he’s not flying or driving there.

He’s walking.

He’s moving to be closer to his mother, Eileen Glass, who developed Alzheimer’s disease about four years ago.

Glass is using his more than 750-mile trek southward as a way to raise awareness about the disease and meet with members of Congress to ask them to support the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 709/H.R. 1507), which is designed to help expand dementia diagnosis and provide information on services available for the patient and their families.

“Mom has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed about four years ago. She lives in Atlanta, and there’s no history of Alzheimer’s in our family,” Glass told staff members of U.S. Rep. Tom Graves in his Dalton office on Thursday as he passed through Dalton.

“I want to do something to honor her,” he said. “I don’t want to see any other Americans going through what we’re going through. Here’s the way I can help.”

Glass, who worked as a manager for a fine dining restaurant, set out on Aug. 5. He had expected to arrive in Atlanta on day 50, just in time to rest before the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday. But Thursday was day 51. He’s planning to have a friend pick him up for the Walk, then bring him back to finish his trek.

Everywhere he goes, Glass speaks to people about the disease, in restaurants, at hotels, while having more business cards printed. He connects with the local Alzheimer’s Association chapters and with legislators to share people’s stories.

“(Graves) understands there’s a great need,” said Tracey Bartley, the constituent services director in Graves’ office, who has a family member with Alzheimer’s. “We know there’s a lot of fear with the unknown. It’s very hard to watch. You feel hopeless and scared.”

The legislation would help make sure patients and caregivers are aware of the support out there for them, including medical and non-medical. It would also help with early detection so that families can start planning for what’s to come. The Dalton office does not handle legislation, but planned to send the information to Graves’ Washington office, which does.

“This will be shared with the congressman,” Bartley told Glass. “Thank you for your dedication. It’s a horrifying disease. What you’re doing is admirable.”

Glass said he has been surprised with the number of people who have been affected by Alzheimer’s.

“I do a lot of listening,” he said. “It’s about them and what they can do. There is hope out there.”

Though Glass can average about 25 miles a day walking, there are days he only walks five because “I’m sitting there talking to people,” he said.

Freda Stephenson, director of development for the North Georgia Regional Office of the Alzheimer’s Association, said she admires Glass and is thankful Dalton was one of his stops.

“He’s touched so many lives,” she said. “He can reach people we can’t. He’s our feet on the ground.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is there to help anyone dealing with the disease, whether a patient or a caregiver, and no matter a person’s income.

Glass said getting involved in Saturday’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is an easy way to help. There is one in Dalton that begins at the Dalton Depot restaurant. Registration starts at 9 a.m.

Text Only
Local News
  • Dalton State turtle 4.jpg In the mood for love: Encouraging breeding, saving species

    For one Dalton State College couple, a cool misty shower is more effective than Barry White and candles at turning thoughts to love. And keeping this couple feeling amorous could mean survival of the species.

    August 1, 2014 4 Photos

  • Beaulieu expects 2,000 employees to be affected by week-long shutdown

    About 2,000 employees of Beaulieu of America in Georgia and Alabama will be affected by the company’s plans to conduct an inventory of its buildings and facilities next week.

    August 1, 2014

  • Moral monday 3 mlh.jpg Four ‘jailed for justice’ tell their stories

    Arturo Martinez was just 8 when his family came to the United States from Mexico, and though he is one of more than 500,000 young undocumented immigrants granted deferred removal by President Barack Obama, Martinez said his dream of pursuing higher education is out of reach because of Georgia policies.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tanner Blackton: Diners, servers must show understanding

    Try to imagine this: You’ve been on your feet for hours, hoisting heavy plates, buzzing from table to table, taking orders, running food, refilling drinks. All the while, you have a smile plastered on your face and a go-to attitude, even when people blame you for things that are out of your control, berate you for accidentally mixing up an order, or loudly complain about being seated underneath an air conditioning vent.

    August 1, 2014

  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014