2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s

ita and Gina at 2016 Walk to End Alzheimer's

Walk to End Alzheimer's 2016

It’s that time of year again for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s! If you are local to the Reno area, join us!


Registration at 8am

Ceremony at 9am

Walk at 9:30am

Sparks Marina

300 Howard Drive

Sparks, NV 89434


If you’re not local to Reno, you can still donate and support the cause. I lost my dad, Henry Akao, to Alzheimers on March 14, 2016 after his 12-year battle with Alzheimer’s. I miss him deeply and still mourn. Some say grief never goes away. Although my dad may be no longer physically with us, I’ll love him always.

I helped my mom, Rita Akao, write the wording below, which she has used to become a Champion fundraiser for this year’s walk with the help of her church. Please read her story, and feel free to comment or share.

Many thanks!


A Call to Join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s from Rita Akao

To honor my husband, Henry T. Akao, I would like to ask for your support in this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Here is the link to join: http://act.alz.org/goto/ATeam

Twelve years ago, my husband, Henry Akao, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. First I noticed that he couldn’t do banking anymore. A structural engineer by trade, he was always diligent about paying his bills and keeping detailed records in his checkbook. Then I started to notice that some bills were not getting paid on time. Our family had to ultimately take over all of the banking activities.

Then we noticed that he would get lost while driving. Luckily he always found his way home. We had to give his car to my daughter so he would stop driving. That was the answer. We even recorded Henry’s voice saying that he was okay with giving our daughter, Gina, the car, so he would remember his choice.

Through the Alzheimer’s Association, we found out about the Continuum, an adult respite care program. This enabled me to do errands and shopping on my own while Henry was being well cared for during the days.

Then he started wandering. One night, in November, just before his 79th birthday, he wandered outside during the rain and fell. He got hypothermia. I woke up because it was cold and found him at about 3 AM lying on the living room floor. The patio door was open. He was soaking wet, unresponsive, and shaking like a leaf. His temperature was 93 degrees. I called 9-11. The EMT and firefighters took us to Renown and warmed his body. He celebrated his 79th birthday in the hospital, and I was able to stay with him. He was transferred to Life Care, and I stayed with him there as well. A second pair of eyes was needed to care for him. He was very restless at the rehab center and fell again there, and I realized I had to take him home.

We had home health care to help him with his walker. He was doing well. One morning, he said he felt really cold. I warmed some blankets in the dryer and put him to bed. I was not able to get him up on my own so I had to call the fire department to help get him up. This happened many times. His primary care doctor put him on hospice.

The Circle of Life Hospice nurses prepared us for what would come. The hours prior to him passing were extremely difficult, even though we had CNAs to help us. My daughters, Amy and Gina, and I had to step up to swab his mouth every 10 minutes, because he had developed Thrush mouth. About an hour before he died, I called the hospice nurse, and he stepped me through till Henry’s last breath. Henry passed away at 1:44 AM on March 14, 2016.

To honor Henry, we continue as a family to support the Alzheimer’s Association and their ongoing efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease. We prayed that Henry would not continue suffering. We prayed that God would have mercy on us. We are left with fond memories of all the good years we had as a family. He will always be loved. He will always be missed.

During his prime, Henry ran eight marathons. At one point during a Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Henry thought he was running a marathon but then he fell. Instantly, there were people to help pick him up and clean up the scrapes on his knees. My family asks you to join us this year in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s so that the world will be free of this heartbreaking disease.

As a participant in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, I am leading the way in the fight against Alzheimer’s — but I can’t take on this disease alone. Will you join me in the fight by walking with me? As a team, we can be an unstoppable force against the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

Registration is easy; simply visit my Walk to End Alzheimer’s page and join my team. If you’re unable to participate, please consider making a donation to my fundraising campaign. Every dollar advances the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association®.


Together we can make a difference to shine our light on Alzheimer’s Disease.

Thank you!

Rita Akao

Rita Akao

Click here to visit my personal page.
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Click here to view the team page for A Team
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