Oklahomans Lost To Alzheimer's And Dementia Commemorated With TCC Pinwheel Flowers

1775 pinwheel flowers were planted. Each one represents a life that was lost to Alzheimer’s or Dementia in Oklahoma last year.

Wednesday, September 13th 2023, 6:50 pm



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TCC Students and Faculty planted pinwheel flowers in memory of Oklahomans who died from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

1775 pinwheel flowers were planted. Each one represents a life that was lost to Alzheimer’s or Dementia in Oklahoma last year.

Wesley Rainbolt knows what it's like to lose someone to this disease. His grandfather had it.

"He seemed like a really gentle man to me. Growing up as a child, I was there just about every weekend. If we weren't out planting the garden, we were out catfishing," said Wesley.

Wesley is a student at Tulsa Community College. He and his classmates--with the help of the Alzheimers Association--are raising awareness of the resources available for families with loved ones living with these conditions.

"I didn't really know anything about it. Didn't know there were organizations like this supporting the cause or help trying to find a cure,” he said.

His teacher Dr. Laura Garrett introduced him to this organization. She also lost her mother to dementia.

"I don't think people realize that a lot of our students are touched by the disease. Whether they have grandparents who have the disease or are caretaking for them. Also, we have a lot of people in the health care professions so a lot of them will be caring for people with dementia," said Laura.

Every color of the flowers symbolizes a different way people are impacted. Blue represents people like Laura and Wesley who lost someone.

Wesley said it's comforting talking with people like his teacher who understand what he went through with his grandfather.

"Everybody loved him. So, it's really uplifting coming out here and being a part of something that is trying to help find a cure or even just trying to show support for those who are struggling with it or struggling because they lost somebody due to it," Wesley said.

For people interested in supporting the cause, A Walk to End Alzheimer’s will happen this Saturday at Dream Keepers Park at 9 AM.

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