Local woman inspired by grandmother to work to fight Alzheimer’s

Positively Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – She is a force behind efforts to raise awareness and research dollars for Alzheimer’s disease.

A former photographer at WATE 6 On Your Side, Rebecca Williams started off volunteering with the Alzheimer’s Association, in honor of her grandmother who died from that devastating disease.

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We enjoyed surprising Rebecca at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s thank you breakfast – getting a chance to say “thank you” to her.

We presented flowers and a small gift to Rebecca, enjoying giving something back to a woman who gives so much to others, first as a volunteer and Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association, advocating in Washington, D.C., then as a staff member managing the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, and helping families with resources after their loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

“She is an inspiration,” Darron Kidwell says. “After my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about three years ago, Rebecca was one of the first people I talked to here in Knoxville to kind of find out about the resources.”

Kidwell was so moved by Rebecca’s outreach , he became co-chair of the Walk to End Alzheimers. Rebecca says, “I love Walk. This year was my sixth Walk, I’ve managed three and it has just grown so very much in these three years. The community has been fabulous and they’ve all come together to really rally behind this cause.”

The woman behind Rebecca ‘s passion: Her beloved grandmother Emma Dell, who she helped care for during her struggle with Alzheimer’s.

“Taking her lunch, helping to feed her, taking her to the bathroom, people don’t think about that. It’s all those things you end up having to do for your loved one that they can’t do anymore, and then on top of that, she didn’t remember who I was, which is so hard especially for an 18,29,20 year old so that stuck with me. I don’t want to watch another loved one go through this disease and that’s why I do this: To find a cure, and I really believe that we will in my lifetime.”

Congratulations to Rebecca, who has just been promoted to a statewide position – heading up the Longest Day event across the state of Tennessee.

MORE ONLINE | For more information on the Alzheimer’s Association

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