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Walking to remember

Frederick thought her father's Alzheimer's would be a slow progression, one that would take years to fully develop.

"I thought my dad would slowly go through the stages of Alzheimer's disease," she said. "He'd be at home for a long time and we'd have to put accommodations into place for someone to be home with him and that he'd eventually have to go to a nursing home where he'd be for several years."

However, Frederick's loss of her father last year came much sooner than she expected.

"Looking back, I feel like we could've been a little more prepared," said Frederick, referring to programs and support groups offered for people living with Alzheimer's, their families, friends and caregivers. "There's nothing you can do to change what's going to happen, but I feel being prepared and knowing what you can expect should help you cope with it."

Since her father's passing, Frederick has taken on a mission to educate others about Alzheimer's disease. Through the encouragement of family friend Dr. Taher Zandi - director and founder of the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center - Frederick's latest role in her mission is that of featured speaker at the 2010 Alzheimer's Walk in Plattsburgh.

Frederick said the focus of her speech will be on early intervention for those with Alzheimer's, like services she and her family eventually pursued through the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center.

"The key is seeking [services and support] early on," she said.

The walk will be held this Sunday, Oct. 17, at the Plattsburgh State Field House on Rugar Street. Registration will begin at 12 p.m., with Frederick's speech and the walk to follow at 1 p.m. Proceeds from the Plattsburgh walk and a walk held the day before - Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Olympic Oval in Lake Placid - will benefit the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center. The Lake Placid walk will begin with registration at 10 a.m. and follow with the walk and opening remarks at 10:30 a.m.

For more information or to register for either walk, contact the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center at 564-3377 or visit www.alzwalk.org.

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