Westborough – When Westborough resident Jim Tepper’s wife Alice was diagnosed in 2000 with Alzheimer’s disease when she was only 60 years old, he knew he needed to find local support and resources.
“I felt very stuck and I called and chatted with someone from the local Alzheimer’s Association to get some information,” Tepper said. “I needed to know how to talk to my kids and family. For the next three to six months, the Alzheimer’s Association would call and check in to see how I am doing and if I was finding the resources I needed.”
After his wife’s diagnosis, he attended education programs for caregivers and programs for he and Alice together, he attended many events on his own, and even joined a committee that held an annual golf tournament to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Tepper also encouraged his family to join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the nation’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. As a result, they have participated in the walk for the last nine years.
Sadly, Alice passed away in March 2014. Her husband is still committed to raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Association.
Although Tepper was scheduled to be out of town for this year’s walk which was held Sept. 28 in Worcester, he knew he still wanted to participate. As captain of Alice’s Team, he raised over $3,000. With his impressive fundraising he earned the honor of joining the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Grand Champions Club. Alice’s Team has raised $3,300 to date.
“I had to be in Chicago for the day of the walk,” Tepper said. “So I went to [a local] venue and walked with my son Steve.”
“Jim contacted me to let me know he was unable to attend the walk,” said Christine Brown, development officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. “I was so touched to find out that he put on his Grand Champions gear and walked the route along with his son.”
The Worcester County Walk to End Alzheimer’s welcomed over 4,000 participants, with a goal to raise $338,000. Prior to the walk, the event had raised over $222,000. The total amount raised for the day of the event is still being calculated and donations will be accepted up until Friday, Oct. 31. To make a donation, visit act.alz.org/worcestercounty.