COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio Chapter’s Evening of Impact Gala on May 4 will honor NBC4 news anchor and Alzheimer’s champion Colleen Marshall with the 2023 Community Impact Award.
The award recognizes the significant impact Marshall has made on behalf of families living with Alzheimer’s disease, including those reached by an annual TV program she hosts that offers resources and hope to families living with the disease.
“In my opinion, no one in Central Ohio has done more to support this cause and drive awareness of this disease than Colleen Marshall,” said Vince McGrail, executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio Chapter. “Colleen consistently supports our mission and provides a platform for families to tell their stories.”
Marshall’s mother, Betty Connors, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2004. The family received support from the Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio Chapter while Connors lived with the disease. She died in 2015.
That experience led Marshall to use her platform to become an Alzheimer’s advocate and provide information, resources and support to families living with the disease. She launched an annual TV program, “I Want to Go Home: A Journey Through Alzheimer’s,” through which she shares real family stories, insight from local experts, and information about new research and treatment options. She has hosted the program on NBC4 for 15 years, and it has earned her five Emmy Awards and an Associated Press Award.
“We’ve been able to not only follow research and progress, but really highlight some of the programs that the Alzheimer’s Association offers, especially support services and respite care so that family members and caregivers aren’t forgotten in all of this,” Marshall said. “It’s been a successful show for us and for the Alzheimer’s Association, but most importantly for the families we reach. I’ve been working in newsrooms for more than 40 years, and I’ve never had anything that I get asked about more than Alzheimer’s.”
Marshall regularly speaks on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association Central Ohio Chapter and has led a Walk to End Alzheimer’s team for years. She will serve as a co-chair for the 2023 Columbus Walk to End Alzheimer’s at noon on Sunday, Sept. 24, at Columbus Commons in downtown Columbus.
“By continuing to tell her family’s story, and through her efforts to educate Ohioans about the disease and the resources we offer, Colleen has helped to reduce the stigma of the disease and elevate the dignity and respect of those living with it,” McGrail said. “For that, we’re eternally grateful.”
The Evening of Impact Gala will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, at The Fives Columbus, located at the Reach on Goodale, 550 Reach Blvd. The Gala brings together community leaders united in the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease. The reception-style event encourages attendees to mingle as they celebrate the hope for a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia, and the collective impact the community has made on families in Central Ohio through efforts like A Journey Through Alzheimer’s.
“It seemed like each stage of Alzheimer’s my mother moved into, I could find somebody to do a story with who could explain what this means — things like, at what point do you decide it’s time to take the car keys away? It’s devastating, some of the decisions you have to make,” Marshall said. “I feel privileged to be able to help people share these stories, and to be recognized by this Association that did so much for my family, I feel honored and very grateful.”
For more information, to purchase tickets or to make a donation, visit alzimpact.givesmart.com.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, fatal brain disease that kills nerve cells and tissues in the brain, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think, plan, speak and walk. Nationwide, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. In Ohio, there are 220,000 individuals over the age of 65 who are currently living with the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association “2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.” That number is expected to increase to 250,000 in 2025.
Those concerned about themselves or a loved one can contact the Alzheimer’s Association Helpline at 800.272.3900. Local staff members are available to schedule a care consultation and provide connections to local resources that can help. To learn more about ways to support the Alzheimer’s Association, visit alz.org/centralohio.
Submitted by the Central Ohio Alzheimer’s Association.