Donna Stading-Smith is one of the top fundraisers for this weekend's Walk To End Alzheimer's and her drive comes from losing a loved one to the disease.

Smith recently lost her father, Ken, to Alzheimer's, a Lincoln man who rode horses, fished, laughed and loved.

For many years, she and her family boarded horses, taught riding classes and participated with 4–H. Her father started showing symptoms and was diagnosed with the disease in 2012. She held a picture of him riding a horse-- but one thing was off in it.

"That was one of the years that I started noticing things for example, he knows to keep his feet in the stirrups and they were out," said Smith. 

Ken walked in last year's event and not long after, he died. Donna says her father's horses would greet her every morning with a neigh, but the day after he passed, they were quiet.

"The horses and dad and I have always been together," said Smith. "They knew, they knew."  

She continues to honor him, by raising funds for research and participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer's. For her, the reality that Alzheimer's affects one in four people is a frightening reality.

"That's scary, to think about that and that is another reason why I'm so passionate about this disease, about the walk, about Alzheimer's Association. We don't have a cure and we need to find a cure." 

The Walk to End Alzheimer's is this Sunday, Oct 13, at Antelope Park, Capital Parkway & A Street
Lincoln. Registration starts at 10 a.m. For more information about the walk and Alzheimer's research visit https://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2019/NE-Nebraska?fr_id=12536&pg=entry