Jun 212013
For Alzheimer's. For Theatre. For my Mom.

I’m an actor from San Francisco who came home for Christmas and stayed.  My Mom is in Stage 4 of Alzheimer’s. My Dad is in denial, but he is getting better. I went to the Alzheimer’s Association and they gave me lots of support, ideas and the skills to move ahead.  They also asked me to do The Longest Day, a 16-hour event to raise funds for Alzheimer’s support, care and research. I chose theatre.  What […]

Jun 202013
Climbing to Mt. Kilimanjaro’s Summit to Stop Alzheimer’s

The porters pack my tent and soon there is a line of headlamps ahead, trailing the lead guide. It will be an extraordinarily long night.  One that I am embarking upon as part of The Longest Day, an Alzheimer’s Association event that involves thousands of participants throughout the world who are passionate about finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and providing assistance to all those who have this illness. Family heartbreak inspires action As a boy, […]

Jun 202013
On The Longest Day, I Will Fight to End Alzheimer's

I come from a loving and supportive family. I have always been close to my mom, Liz.  She has a degree in early childhood education, and she gave her full attention to raising my sister Kate and me.  Our home was filled with activity. She taught us songs, played games with us, and took us to swim team and play dates.  My mom has a special relationship with our friends as well. (She gave my […]

May 102013
76 Miles, 16 Hours and a Commitment to End Alzheimer's

After some crazy back and forth emails tossing around ideas, it was decided. We would run for an hour at a time on a high school track, alternating shifts for the entire 16 hours of daylight on the longest day of the year. Why?  As a way of turning our passion for running into a fundraiser for The Longest Day – a sunrise-to-sunset event to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. […]

Apr 172013
This Is Our Life – And Alzheimer's Isn't Keeping Us From Living It

“This Is Our Life” is the final line of a production entitled “Resurrection” that my husband Steve and I have been a part of with our church singing group for the past 17 years. During the last song, everyone in the congregation holds a candle that is lit from a single candle that stands alone on the altar. As each candle is lit, we watch the church go from dark to light. The first year we performed, a small group of us got together and pitched in—sewing costumes, rehearsing and doing whatever […]

Jun 212012
Reflections on The Longest Day™

My mother Judy Gelfand lost her mind more than nine years ago to Alzheimer’s — a disease that robbed our entire family as we all stood by watching her slowly fade away. Judy died in her bedroom on July 13, 2004, in Palm Springs, Calif., surrounded by her family — our Dad, Marshall, my brothers, Todd, and Dean, and me. Eight years later — almost to the day — we all surrounded her again as […]

Jun 202012
Riding, Running and Rolling to Honor those with Alzheimer's

10 years ago this August, my dad, Don MacLeod, lost his fight for life to complications from Alzheimer’s. I miss my Dad very much. He endured a seven-year progression with this disease, and we went through seeing him change and loose his sense of self and family. I especially remember the day my Dad couldn’t remember my Mom’s name, who had passed away several years earlier. It was a heart breaking experience — made more […]

Jun 202012
With Endurance and Each Other, We Will Push Past the Finish Line in this Fight Against Alzheimer's

Today is the longest day of the year — and as evening sets, Alzheimer’s advocates across the globe are pushing themselves to the finish line of a 16-hour endurance relay to raise awareness and funds for the fight against Alzheimer’s. This event, Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day™, and the dedication it requires holds such significance for those who have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. It symbolizes the endurance, love, patience and strength it takes to […]

Jun 202012
We Are All In It Until Alzheimer's Is a Memory

My name is Judy Johanson and today, our team, “This Is Our Life,” is participating in Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day™! For me, the event is both personal and universal. My amazing husband (and best friend) Steve was diagnosed last fall (on what felt like the longest day) with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease, just one month shy of his 59th birthday. Just five years ago, his mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It has been a […]

Jun 202012
Running an Ultra-Marathon Relay for My Bami

Today, I’m joining the fight against Alzheimer’s by running around a high school track with my best friend. I’ll run for an hour, she’ll run for an hour. And we’ll continue like that all day long. We’re doing it because we want to raise awareness, money, and hope that one day we’ll live in a world without Alzheimer’s. I’m also doing it to honor my grandmother. My grandma, who we all called Bami, was a […]

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