Longtime radio host shares Alzheimer's struggle to help others - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Longtime radio host shares Alzheimer's struggle to help others

Dennis Oliver Dennis Oliver
Walk to end Alzheimer's Disease Walk to end Alzheimer's Disease
Walk to End Alzheimer's Walk to End Alzheimer's
Dennis Oliver is this year's spokesperson Dennis Oliver is this year's spokesperson

It's been less than a year since the voices changed at Y101 when one man's battle with Alzheimer's forced him to step away from his passion. Now that man is leading the charge this weekend in the Walk to End Alzheimer's Disease.

Dennis Oliver is a name that many area residents recognize. He was the voice on the radio every morning for decades, but stepped down a few months ago because of his ongoing battle with Alzheimer's.

Oliver said he feels he can still do everything he's used to doing but sometimes it's not that easy.

"Like right now, I'm sitting here with you guys and I'm having a little trouble with it to tell you the truth," Oliver said. "But I get over it and I get used to it."

Oliver explained because it's not a visible illness, it's hard to realize when you have the disease. He hopes sharing his story will encourage other to tell theirs.

Oliver is a spokesperson for the Alzheimer's walk this weekend in Quincy. He said the walk recognizes not only the victims but the family members who are also impacted.

His longtime co-host and friend, Jeff Dorsey had to see him struggle with the disease on a daily basis. He's proud of his friend coming forward to tell his story.

"Somebody like Dennis Oliver has made a bold move in stepping out and saying 'Hey, I'm dealing with this and I can sit back and let this happen or I can make an impact in how we try to fight this disease.'" Dorsey said. "And I gotta give him all the credit in the world for doing that."

Dorsey hopes Oliver sharing his story will open the door for others to do the same. Dorsey said its important for those struggling with this disease to realize people want to help.

He hopes Oliver's story is an example of how that's possible.

One in three seniors will die of Alzheimer's disease according to the Alzheimer's Association of America who is trying to help lower that number this weekend.

Saturday is the 21st annual walk to end Alzheimer's in Quincy. Officials said it's the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Alzheimer's Association of Quincy.

Cheri Robertson, the event coordinator, said the community really steps up for this event.

"Quincy has been a wonderful supporter," Robertson said. "The community comes together on many different events but especially for us for the Alzheimer's Association."

Registration for the walk starts at 8:00 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m. All walkers who raise more than 100 dollars will receive a free t-shirt

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