Family of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen march for Alzheimer’s awareness

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DENVER -- More than a year has passed since Broncos owner Pat Bowlen dropped a bombshell that shocked Broncos nation by saying he had Alzheimer's disease.

One year later, he's still fighting and so are thousands of others who joined his family Saturday to wage war on the disease.

Family and friends of Coloradans with  Alzheimer’s gathered in Denver City Park for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Beth Bowlen-Wallace, one of Bowlen's daughters, spoke to participants about the disease and her father’s battle. Pat Bowlen developed Alzheimer’s years ago.

“I think the hardest thing about it is losing your loved one in front of your eyes,” Beth Bowlen-Wallace said. "My dad is cycling through the disease like most people do and because there is no cure, it continues to affect our family and we just love spending time with him while we can."

Elaine Jacques can relate. She lost two aunts to Alzheimer's and now her mother has it.

"A lot of friends don't come around because they don't know what to say when they're around. It's like the person is already gone," Jacques said. "My family's burned out. I cried in the beginning. I couldn’t stop crying."

That's why family and friends say events like the Walk to End Alzheimer’s are so important. It’s loved ones hitting the pavement together to show solidarity and support against a disease that so far no one has been able to beat.

“My eyes just welled up. It blows my mind. It really blows my mind," Jacques said.

An estimated 65,000 Coloradans have Alzheimer’s Disease. Last year more than $1 million was raised at the walk in Colorado for research and support programs.

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