Cycling for a cure to Alzheimer's

By Stefanie

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Alzheimer's affects 5.4 million people nationwide and about 80,000 people across the Palmetto State. For the past three days, a group of cyclists rode from Simpsonville to Charleston to raise awareness of the disease.

"A Ride to Remember" is an annual charity bike ride where this year 50 cyclists traveled{}more than 250 miles{}to help raise money to find a cure for Alzheimer's.

"The whole goal is to find a cure," said cyclists, Bill Sweezy. "People hear that word 'Alzheimer's' and more and more people are affected. They don't realize that there are zero survivors. That kind of tells you how important it is to find a way to stop the progression but also really need to find a cure."

"There are no survivors. It's actually the only disease in the top 10 causes of death that doesn't have a way currently to slow or even prevent the disease," Ashton Houghton of the Alzheimer's Association said. "We are not even talking about not having a cure, we don't have a way to prevent or even slow the disease right now."

With 80,000 South Carolinians living with the degenerative neurological disorder, it's becoming harder not to know someone slipping away to its fate.

"Who it really affects is the families and to think how it affects them each day. Riding your bike is not so bad," Sweezy said.

"It's just such a devastating disease to see someone you love just go away and yet still physically be there," cyclist Jane West said.

Cyclists reached a fundraising goal of $50,000 which will all go to research and funding for the Alzheimer's Association.

You can still donate to "A Ride to Remember" by calling the local Alzheimer's Association number at 843-571-2641 or the 24/7 national number at 1-800-272-3900.