On June 21, the longest day of the calendar year, I’m proud to be participating in a new event: the Alzheimer’s Association Longest DayTM, a sunrise-to-sunset relay supporting those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Along with my co-workers at the national office in Chicago and our public policy office in D.C., we’ll run, bike, walk and complete other endurance activities to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Living with Alzheimer’s disease or caring for someone who has it requires love, patience, endurance and strength – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I know because I’ve worked for the Alzheimer’s Association for three years. And while I do not have a family connection to the disease, I can say that I have a personal one.
In my day-to-day responsibilities as a writer, I interview families who are facing Alzheimer’s. And after we work together, I consider these individuals to be friends. I feel a strong personal responsibility to represent their experiences accurately in website articles, brochures and magazines published by the Association. But I never feel as though I can depict the true courage they display on a daily basis. It’s indescribable.
On June 21, I plan to walk and run (for three hours!) along the National Mall in D.C. to honor those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. I know that the struggle of those facing Alzheimer’s is ongoing, and I want to help. It’s the least I can do.
If you’d like to get involved in the Longest Day, please follow our activities on June 21 by checking this blog regularly for updates. You’ll hear from my co-workers who will be getting active in a variety of ways for the cause—and you can donate to support their efforts.
Brett Armstrong works in communications at the national office of the Alzheimer’s Association. She enjoys reading as many books as possible and running alongside her four-legged family member, Millie.