DENVER, Colo. --** The Bowlen family has added its voice to many others who are fighting Alzheimer's disease since Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen announced that he was battling the disease. On July 23, 2014, Bowlen relinquished control of the team in order to fight a battle that many others also face.
The Bowlen family has been instrumental in raising awareness and funds for the disease since 2014. This year, Head Coach Gary Kubiak, players and members of the front office provided significant donations for this important cause.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 65,000 people are battling the disease in Colorado alone—five million are suffering in America.
Team Super Bowlen joined many others at Denver's 2015 Walk to End Alzheimer's on Saturday.
On Saturday, with Team Super Bowlen leading the way for the second year in a row, over 10,000 people walked for a cure at Denver's City Park.
Siblings Al and Christine Lucero lost their mother to Alzheimer's in October 2014 after she fought the disease for 10 years.
"It was difficult," said Christine at the walk on Saturday. "It was very difficult. You're saying goodbye to your loved one every day, and you just want them to remember."
Christine was the primary caregiver for their mother, Alice, but in 2008 the family had to make the difficult decision to put her in the care of an Alzheimer's facility.
"You want your mother back," said Al. "You remember your mother being vibrant and sharp and having the ability to be independent.
"Once we had to put her in the facility, it was the toughest decision for our family — more so than for her. She knew she was going into a different environment but didn't necessarily know why."
On Saturday, a sign boasting their mother's picture could be seen poking above those walking at the event. Their family's battle has brought them out to the Walk to End Alzheimer's for 10 years.
While the siblings stress that awareness is important, their central concern is that the walk brings a cure to the disease.
"I think each year we see it building and growing," said Al. "We are very hopeful that we find a cure. I know that it's afflicting the Bowlen family, and I think their family and the Broncos have brought a lot of awareness to the fight.
"We're hoping with their name and their brand they can help bring a cure to Alzheimer's."