KALISPELL, Mont. - In Montana, Alzheimer's disease affects more than 20,000 residents.
People in the Flathead gathered this Sunday to raise awareness for the disease.
Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, taking the life of one in three seniors some form of dementia.
The Kalispell Alzheimer's Association's is devoted to changing that statistic.
Darcy Lindenmuth helped organize Sunday's event.
"There's always obstacles in the way of a caregiver's life and the life of the person who has the disease," Lindenmuth says. She says Alzheimer's can be a tough disease for the patient, and the caregiver
"You got to learn to just step around it and keep going."
Over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, 21,000 here in Montana, making it a disease that hits close to home with many in the Flathead.
Lindenmuth and her husband are caretakers for her mother, who is in the early stages of the disease.
While other leading causes of death like heart disease and HIV have decreased over the last decade, Alzheimer's deaths have increased 68%.
Lindenmuth says it's days like these that can really help put the disease in the spotlight, raising awareness and money to help fight and hopefully someday cure it.
"This is such an important cause and I know that everybody that's here volunteering have taken hours of their time out of their day to support us."