Paul Rhoads (file photo)

Paul Rhoads (file photo)

The battle against Alzheimer’s disease is personal for Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads. The coach was in West Des Moines today to promote this summer’s Ride to Remember, a motorcycle ride through central Iowa that raises money for the Alzheimer’s Association.

The disease claimed the life of Rhoads’ mother, Mary, nearly four years ago. “We lost her back in July of 2011,” Rhoads said. “She was afflicted with Alzheimer’s for well over 10 years. That’s a long time to suffer with this horrible disease, a disease for which there is no cure.”

This year’s Ride to Remember will begin outside of Jack Trice Stadium on Sunday, June 21. This is the 6th year for the ride.

Rhoads says the Alzheimer’s Association not only raises funds for research but also helps the family members and care givers who are also affected by the disease. “My father was the primary caregiver for my mom…and that’s the person you start to worry about equally,” Rhoads said. “Is something going to happen to them? Is it going to be too much burden for them?”

Rhoads says the Ride to Remember is a chance to meet other people who have or had a family member afflicted by the disease. “You’re there to support the fight against Alzheimer’s and everybody has a story,” Rhoads said. “There’s crying and laughing…and honestly, to cope with the disease, it takes both.”

This year’s date for the event coincides with Fathers Day. Registration and a barbecue will begin at noon. The ride is expected to begin at 2:00 p.m.