Jun 212012

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 we participated in Alzheimer’s Association The Longest Day™, trying to help put an end to Alzheimer’s. Like Wade Caldwell from Florida, WE ARE IN IT UNTIL ALZ IS FINISHED.

Marshall Gelfand and Jackie Rudman walked on treadmill from 9 a.m.–10 a.m. in Michigan.

Our Judy Fund team (44 members strong!) started The Longest Day on top of Mt. Cube in Orford, N.H., at 7a.m. where Todd welcomed the new day. My dad and our wonderful stepmother, Jackie, spent an hour together on a treadmill in Baroda, Mich., at 8 a.m.; Richard swam laps for an hour in Santa Monica, Calif., at 9 a.m. Thirty-five Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman co-workers walked a loop around Century City, Calif., at noon; and Ella played tennis in Pacific Palisades for an hour at 1:00 p.m. Zaida swam; Marcie walked beachside — and the day continued from one coast to the other — with biking, spinning, hiking and more to make up 16 hours of The Longest Day.

Doreen and I, and a group of our favorite hikers, ended The Longest Day on top of Temescal Canyon in Los Angeles watching the sun go down across the City of Angels.

As part of this event, I felt connected with all The Longest Day teams and their members. I felt connected to the movement of people who are coming together to create change. I felt connected with all daughters who have lost their mothers to Alzheimer’s.

Gelfand Rennert & Feldman Group walked in Century City, Calif.

And I felt connected to my mother, as I do every day, for all she continues to give to me and to her family.

The Longest Day is every day and we are all the answer.


As Chair of The Judy Fund, Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns works to ignite public awareness and involvement in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. To date, The Judy Fund, created in memory of Elizabeth’s mother Judy Gelfand, has raised and granted over $4.5 million dollars to support Alzheimer’s research and advocacy in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns is a member of the national Board of Directors of the Alzheimer’s Association.

  8 Responses to “Reflections on The Longest Day™”

  1. My mom – Alice Hohler – is still battling this disease. She lives in a nursing home, and tries to figure out what to do with each moment of each day. She recognizes my face as someone important to her, but most days does not remember my name or who I am. We walk together around the grounds of the nursing home, and I tell her stories of my life (which she doesn't remember). But I need this time to remember my mom. But I hate this disease that has robbed our family of so much! Mom said goodbye to my dad in 2008, and within weeks did not remember where she had lived for the past 53 years with my dad. It is hard, and difficult, and sometimes I get angry when I think about something I want to share with my mom. But then again, I thank God for the times when she turns and tells me she loves me. I am so glad you have found ways to fight this disease, to raise funds for research and someday . . . a cure! God bless you all!

  2. We are currently in the battle…my mother in law has come to live with us since thanksgiving …I never imagined how our world would be turned upside down. I know we are doing the right thing by caring for her. Just reading your blog and others encourages me o keep on going . I did not know about the longest day fund raising event . Thanks for sharing

  3. Mission Oaks Assisted Living Memory Care …Dori Beard Captain….Anita Krakower's Team raised over $1000.00 on June 20, 2012 "The Longest Day" ……Someday There Will Be A Cure!

    Thank you all for this FABULOUS JOINT EFFORT!!!! TOGETHER WE CAN make a difference!!!!

  4. Please share this video and One Thing that you never want to forget to help end Alzheimer's disease.

  5. Very moving story. Thank you.

  6. My husbad had been treated since 2004, but inoticed signs befor that as i have worked in a nursing hom for several years. with several medication he is doing pretty well. I call him my four year old. as he has to be told to do things in steps. Our main problem is eatins as he has lost his since of taste and smelll. Bathing is also an issue at times. I plan to keep him at home as long as possible. He is pretty calm most of the time and easy to get along with.

  7. Amen!
    I know that when this struck our family with my dad, it forever made an impact on the outlook I have with how I look at the world.
    Alzheimer’s will forever be a part of my life now, until there is a cure.

  8. The Longest Day is what every family member knows about if some1 in their family has Alzheimers….And my Mother suffered thru the longest day every day carried by my dad, sister and myself….Noone knows until they live thru an experience like this how truly awful it is….My Mom would fight till the end of the twilight hours for no help..looking at u helpless and sometimes u got one instance when she could find the words to say…I dont want u to have to do this for me….even simple things…where the bathroom was…she couldnt remember….She coiuld not stand for water to touch her …was afraid of it…therefore she loved wearing hats…didnt want her hair washed…loved pink..I bought her a pink sparkly glitter cap, led her to the mirror to show her…she burst into tears and said I Love u…but she couldnt remember my name…….

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