MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Our Mid-South Heroes go above and beyond for communities in need.
This month’s hero changed his entire career path to give hope to Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.
Step by step, dollar by dollar, Wes Milligan is working towards a world without Alzheimer’s.
“More than six million people are affected with the disease today and we project in 2050 to be more than 14 million,” Milligan said.
Fifteen years ago as a journalist in Lafayette, Louisiana, Milligan was asked to write about Alzheimer’s.
“I really didn’t know anything about the disease, so I decided to interview people that actually had Alzheimer’s and the stories were heart wrenching,” Milligan said. “I was speaking with a father who knew he was forgetting his daughter or a grandmother who had no idea who their granddaughter was.”
Milligan says those stories sparked his mission to help find the first Alzheimer’s survivor, despite not having a personal connection to the disease.
“In 2012 I raised just over $500 and last year I raised more than $20,000,” Milligan said.
That $20,000 donation helped Milligan stick out among other Walk to End Alzheimer’s fundraisers.
“Over $20,000 of that $160,000 was raised by just Wes alone and if you think about that the percentage, he’s bringing in every year just because he’s so passionate about this cause, it’s amazing,” said Baily Jones.
Jones is the development manager for the Alzheimer's Association Chapter in Tennessee, and she has been working with Milligan for many years.
“Working with Wes is an absolute joy because I've been a fundraising professional for six years and I've never seen someone take a joyful approach,” Jones said. “For me to do this for a living and to see someone like him come in as a volunteer and just be so passionate and so successful, it's remarkable.”
Jones and her colleague Brittany Murray say they are constantly impressed by how passionate he is for the cause. Murray has been caring for her mom who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.
“He’s always coming up with something clever and new and just something that brings hope to the disease,” Murray said.
Wes Milligan, because of your tireless work to help end Alzheimer’s, you are this month’s Mid-South Hero.
“He pours his heart into ending Alzheimer’s,” Murray said. “And just me being personally affected, I just don’t think there’s anyone more deserving to win this incredible award.”
For more Mid-South Hero stories or to nominate someone you think is worthy of being called a Mid-South Hero, click here.