Portage County man's special connection to charity race - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Portage County man's special connection to charity race

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CUSTER, WI (WAOW) - For a Portage County man, a charity 5k run/walk on Saturday held a deeper meaning.

In Custer, Brian Clancey and his wife helped organized the Shamrock Shuffle to raise money for the Alzheimer's Foundation of Portage County. About a year ago, Clancey lost his mother to the disease.

"You see them kinda just slowly slip and my mother would forget what she had for lunch, but she'd remember things from when I was in diapers," said Clancey.

A recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Neurology found that Alzheimer's may be the third leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2010, more than 80,000 people died from the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study suggests Alzheimer's is under-reported on death certificates.

"It affects all of us sooner or later, someone we know or ourselves," said Clancey.

His wife says they wanted to find a way to give back.

"You can only do so much, but you try to have fun when you do it," said Jacki Clancey, an event organizer.

That's why they decided to host a race, starting and ending at the Clanceys' bar, Clancey's Stone Lion.

"They came out to run and you know keep their body healthy, as well as their minds," said Sue McFarland, an event organizer.

About a hundred racers participated in the inaugural event.

"I think a lot of people think it won't happen to them or their parents or their family members, so any event that brings awareness is great," said Kelsey Corrigan, a runner.

Organizers say they raised more than $2,000.

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