When we hear the word "Alzheimer's," many of us picture someone 70 to 80 years old. Alzheimer's now has a personal meaning for a local Decorah family and affected their father while he is still healthy and active.
Decorah resident Dale Putnam was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's when he was 57 years old. Before Dale's diagnosis, the family didn't personally know anyone with Alzheimer's.
June is Alzheimer's Awareness and National Brain Health Month. The Putnam family established "Trails for Dale" and have begun raising funds for Alzheimer's research.
Biking has always been something Dale has enjoyed doing. He served as a board member for Trails from Freeport. Spreading awareness is important to the Putnam family and they've been blown away by the community support. They have met many people with a connection to the disease, now that they have a personal connection.
Daughter Brecka Putnam realized how many people in Decorah are affected by Alzheimer's and those people need an outlet and support. They plan to start a support group in Decorah this summer for caregivers affected with Alzheimer's.
Daughter Shanna Putnam Dibble says, "Trails for Dale is a way to honor people and a fun way to get the community involved." The family has come up with a variety of fundraisers, including a recent bake sale, can drive and lemonade stand.
Upcoming events are:
--Saturday, June 3rd at 9:00 a.m. Tri-Class fundraiser at Reefuel and B-Fit Studio https://www.facebook.com/events/306879479744944/
--Sunday, June 11th at 1:30 p.m. "Canoe for a Cure" at the Hutchinson Family Farm Campground. http://www.hutchff.com/uploads/canoe-for-a-cure-flyer.pdf
--Tuesday, June 20th at Pizza Hut from 11:00 a.m.--10:00 p.m. mention "Trails for Dale" and 20 percent of proceeds will go toward Alzheimer's Association. https://www.facebook.com/events/405929113123090/
"Trails for Dale" is part of a nationwide effort to find the first survivor of Alzheimer's called "The Longest Day." People are participating from across the country. "Trails for Dale" has raised $5,000 toward their goal of $24,000.
Join "Trails for Dale" on June 24th for a 24 hour biking event to raise funds for research to take down Alzheimer's. All funds raised are for the Alzheimer's Association. Bikers in Decorah should sign up for one hour shifts starting at 12:00 a.m. The goal is to have at least one person riding all day. At the end the day, all adult participants are invited to join for a group lap and after party for anyone who wishes to join. There will be a dedicated kids' hour 9:00--10:00 a.m., as well as food and activities at event headquarters.
Check out https://www.facebook.com/trailsfordale/ for more information on Trails for Dale.
To register for the longest day event http://trailsfordale.absurdudeez.com/index.html
Once registered, contact email@example.com to be signed up for a time slot as not all available slots are listed online.