At the age of six, Mikade Burns started unofficially volunteering for the Chico Walk to End Alzheimerâ€
s. Twelve years later, Mikade is a member of the Walk Planning Committee. He shares what itâ€
s like to be on the committee and encourages other teens and young adults to volunteer.
Mikade (left) age 8 and his sisters with their Walk shirts
A reason to Walk
Mikade Burns, one of the youngest members of the Chico Walk to End Alzheimerâ€
s Walk Planning Committee, thought his only connection to Alzheimerâ€
s disease was through his motherâ€
s work. Her company, Interim Healthcare, was, and still is, a sponsor for the Walk. Unfortunately, Mikade learned he had a second connection to the disease, his uncle Ed.
Ed lived on a farm in Oregon. Because of the distance, Mikade didnâ€
t see him that often, but Mikade looks back fondly on the time they spent together. â€œI remember going up to Oregon and seeing his farm,â€ said Mikade. â€œChecking out the cows, going to the little pond they had and riding his ATV. Itâ€
s nice to think back on all the memories I have with him.â€
A young start
Mikade got his start as a volunteer at the young age of six. He began by helping his mom at her companyâ€
s booth on Walk day. â€œI would go to the events and hang around,â€ said Mikade. â€œIâ€
d help out wherever I could. I really enjoyed going every year. The community and the people behind the Walk are amazing.â€
When Mikade turned 14 he became an unofficial Walk day volunteer. On that day, the Walk was short volunteers and they knew Mikade would be a big help. The next year he decided he wanted to do more. He reached out to the Walk manager and asked if he could join the Walk Planning Committee. The Walk manager was happy to have him participate.
Joining a great cause
Three years later, Mikade is a well-established committee member, involved in several areas of Walk preparation. â€œIâ€
m a jack of all trades,â€ said Mikade. â€œWherever I can help, I want to go.â€
Mikade wants other people to be a part of the cause, especially younger people. â€œWe donâ€
t think it affect us [teenagers and young adults] immediately,â€ said Mikade. â€œBut almost everyone has a story of a family member or friend having the disease. Itâ€
s a great cause for anyone of any age or background.â€
Mikade on Walk day
Becoming a committee member
A big event like Walk to End Alzheimerâ€
sÂ® can seem intimidating. However, Mikade wants to ease fears by sharing what itâ€
s like to be a committee member:
During winter and spring, the time commitment for a committee member is very light. They meet once a month for a few hours. â€œThe time commitment varies, but itâ€
s only a few hours a month,â€ said Mikade. â€œSometimes you make phone calls or attend a recruitment event.â€
As fall approaches, and Walk day gets closer, the time commitment increases. The committee meets more frequently. Depending on your role, such as the Logistics Subcommittee (figuring out where things go on Walk day) or the Team Retention Subcommittee (calling past participants to encourage them to come back) some members put in six to eight hours a month. Mikade says, â€œYou make priority for the things you care about.â€
Learning about Alzheimerâ€
Every year, the Alzheimerâ€
s AssociationÂ® releases its annual Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. This report reveals the data about Alzheimer’s and dementia as it relates to individuals, caregivers, government and the nation’s health care system.
Committee members learn some of the statistics about Alzheimerâ€
s and share them with others in the community. â€œItâ€
s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States [and the third leading cause of death in California],â€ said Mikade. â€œOne in three seniors dies with Alzheimerâ€
s or another dementia. Itâ€
s so prevalent in our community and thatâ€
s why I think itâ€
s important to support this cause.â€
Mikade (third from the right) and the 2018 Chico Walk Planning Committee
A participant who shows up on Walk day will see several booths, tents, and multi colored flowers all set up and ready for participants to enjoy.
When the committee members arrive on Walk day, itâ€
s often still dark. â€œYou wake up early, get your coffee and are at the venue by 6 a.m.,â€ said Mikade. â€œEveryone has headlamps on and flashlights. You have to finish up final touches, like the flowers, bringing the food and coffee in, and setting up the registration booths.
â€œThere is plenty to do. You are busy until 8 a.m., and then you hang out until the participants show up. During the event everyone is assigned a task. You talk to as many participants as you can and help out where needed.â€
An experience you want to have
Mikade encourages others to not only learn about the disease but also who the Alzheimerâ€
s Association is helping: the families. â€œThe one thing that always gets me, is hearing about caregivers who care for those living with the diseaseâ€ said Mikade. â€œItâ€
s enlightening and moving to learn about them. This is an awesome cause, and you learn about the disease. Being on the committee is an experience you want to have.â€
To join the Walk Planning Committee in your local community search for the Walk to End Alzheimerâ€
s nearest to you, click the â€˜Volunteerâ€
button, and fill out the volunteer interest form.
You can join Mikadeâ€
s team, Harris and Plottel or form your own team and join us for the Chico Walk to End Alzheimerâ€
s on October 9 at Bidwell Park, Sycamore Filed. Not in Chico? Find a Walk near you at alz.org/walk.
- Walk to End Alzheimer’s
- Become a Walk Volunteer
- Volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association
- Facts and Figures
- 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900)
By: Jennifer Tinkelenberg
Title: Recent high school grad shares what itâ€™s like on Chico Walk committee
Sourced From: www.alzheimersblog.org/2021/09/20/recent-high-school-grad-shares-what-its-like-on-chico-walk-committee/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=recent-high-school-grad-shares-what-its-like-on-chico-walk-committee
Published Date: Mon, 20 Sep 2021 15:32:55 +0000