By Tiffany Merlo Phelps

Gabe Coleman has put his heart into raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease by walking, asking others to join him and raising money. Through every step and every dollar, the Bolles High School junior is honoring his grandmother and all those who suffer from the disease. Awareness and raising money are his top two goals, and he is well on his way on both fronts. 

Coleman’s grandmother, Pat, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2017, and ever since, Coleman has been on a mission to help find a cure. Pat turned 82 in September, marking four-and-a-half years since she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s/dementia. She celebrated with her family by having cupcakes and watching some football at Starling at Nocatee, an assisted living and memory care facility. 

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Coleman has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Jacksonville Walk to End Alzheimer’s, raising nearly $10,000 last year with his team for the cause. He has the same team goal this year for the Nov. 5 Walk to end Alzheimer’s that will take place at the University of North Florida. 

In addition, the Acosta Bridge will be lit purple again this month through Coleman’s work with the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. Coleman also worked with Daily’s Place to light its roof purple on Nov. 4. 

Coleman’s top donor is Starling at Nocatee, and Starling Chief Operating Officer Megan Kennedy said they are fully behind all of Coleman’s efforts. Starling staff members plan to walk on Coleman’s team. 

“We have a special place in our heart for the entire Coleman family,” said Kennedy. “I am incredibly proud of our team for joining forces with Gabe’s team and working towards the greater good — a cure. Starling believes in his cause, in his mission, and we believe in Gabe.” 

Coleman is also working with his past teachers at Bolles Ponte Vedra lower school to join him at the walk, and he recently presented a video to the school explaining his mission to students. 

Coleman has a blog outside of the Alzheimer’s site to help keep up with everyone: Visit for more information on the Jacksonville Walk to End Alzheimer’s. 

Photo courtesy Sean Coleman 

Homecoming Week Friday with Gabe Coleman’s Alzheimer’s video being shown at Bolles Ponte Vedra.

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