Kathy Collins, GEHA Chief Sales and Marketing Officer joins the Alzheimer’s Association as the 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s Event Chair in Kansas City. GEHA (Government Employees Health Association, Inc.) is a nonprofit member association and the largest dental and second largest medical benefits provider of federal employees. GEHA is the presenting sponsor for the 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Kansas City.
There is a growing awareness in the communities that the Alzheimer’s Association and GEHA serve regarding health and wellness, especially in underserved areas. “GEHA’s initiatives around health equity align perfectly with those of the Alzheimer’s Association and this is our opportunity to work together to help raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research,” says Collins.
This is not Collins’ first philanthropic endeavor. She was Co-Chair for the 2017 Kansas City Go Red Luncheon, marking one of the best years in the event’s history. Though this time, it is personal. Her father, who will turn 93 in June, is living with dementia. “Although this is all so raw for me right now (we just moved him into a memory care community in February), there isn’t a better time for me to personally get involved. I want to do this while my dad is still here and my mom, my sister, and I are by his side,” says Collins.
Since Collins accepted the Chair position, several of her GEHA colleagues have come forward to share their family’s Alzheimer’s experience. She says, “This is still new to me, but I can, and I want to, offer help to my colleagues and anyone else going through an Alzheimer’s journey. There is no perfect path, and I want people to know that if they surround themselves with support systems, including the Alzheimer’s Association, they will get through this.”
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. The Kansas City Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held on October 2 at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, MO.
On Walk day, participants honor those affected by Alzheimer’s with the poignant Promise Garden ceremony — a mission-focused experience that signifies our solidarity in the fight against the disease. The colors of the Promise Garden flowers represent people’s connection to Alzheimer’s — their personal reasons to end the disease.
Collins will carry the yellow flower, indicating that she is a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease – a leading cause of death in the United States. Additionally, more than 11 million family members and friends provide care to people living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
To register and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Kansas City, visit: alzwalkkc.org.
Or, if you are interested in a Walk in one of our other Walk communities, learn more at alz.org/hoawalk.