Jun 222011

As our first effort at The Longest Day is coming to an end, I’m excited about the potential of this event.  When I was on the Chicago Lakefront on my bike during my four hours of riding to honor my mother, who had Alzheimer’s, for all that she did for my brother and me, I was also thinking about all the people who have the disease today (an estimated 5.4 million) and, regrettably, all the people who will have it going forward (as many as 16 million just 39 years from now unless we change the course of the disease through sufficient research).  And I was thinking about their caregivers (15 million already today).

At the Alzheimer’s Association we work every day to improve the lives of individuals who are facing the disease, both those with a diagnosis and those who care for them, as we also invest directly in research to change the course of the disease and as we pursue public policy changes to have both our federal and state leaders recognize and address the dramatic impact of Alzheimer’s at both the human level and an economic level.   Another thing we’ve been working on in the last few years, which I hope you’ve noticed, is raising public attention to the disease and engaging people across the country in activities that will ultimately make better care, improved diagnosis, effective treatments and prevention a reality.

The Longest Day is the kind of event that can engage people around the country in helping us make those investments in support, public policy and research while it also focuses public attention on the realities of the disease: far from “a little memory loss” as too many Americans still believe, today it is progressive, degenerative and fatal.  It doesn’t have to go on that way. The Longest Day is also the kind of activity that will help us change those realities.  We can do it.  With the public mobilized we can put an end to Alzheimer’s.  The research community believes that we can conquer it and I do too.

I want to thank everyone who supports our work every day:  our donors, our volunteers, our staff and everyone who helps in even the smallest way.  Today I particularly want to thank the individuals who participated in today’s event. They are pioneers in our journey toward real changes in Alzheimer’s.  I look forward to working with even more of you next year on The Longest Day as we aim toward the vision of the Alzheimer’s Association, a world without Alzheimer’s.  Join us.

Harry Johns is president and chief executive officer of the Alzheimer’s Association.

  16 Responses to “We Can Put an End to Alzheimer’s”

  1. Thank you for all you do. My mom thanks you. And my family thanks you.

  2. For my dad, currently the primary caregiver for my mother, every day is the longest day. Next year, I vow to join you on The Longest Day, and ride the 54 miles to their house and back, for ALL they have given me.

  3. My name is Tim Knowles. I live in Snellville, GA, but my wife Jane Morrow Knowles was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzhieimer's Disorder when she was in her 40's. She is now in Hospice Care at Baptist Trinity Hospice Center , in Collierville, Tenn. where she has been a resident since January 17,2011. All of our families are supporting this long and very memorable day. Thank you all for your help and support.

  4. Mr. Johns, I would like to participate in biking events in my area (Southeast US) to raise awareness of Alzheimer's and raise funds needed to help bring about a cure. Can you please post some links to information on such events? Thanks.


  5. how do you know if you have it or not

  6. You go Harry! Thank you for your vision and leadership!

  7. Thank You Harry for your dedication to the victims and families of this horrific disease. As a caregiver to my father who lost his battle in December 2011, its the families and friends of this unfortunate victims who need to be their voice for advocacy to help find a cure for this disease.

  8. I have Alzheimers and hate the idea of dealing with it as it does not have a cure or any drug that would make us have a lot of hope. It is complicated. I am angry that it is taking my life away bit by bit. I notice the difference and it is hard to live with for both me and my husband. My husband has had an amputation, a 5-way bypass on the heart and now, his latest is brain surgery. We lost our only child and life is tough, tough, tough, tough!!!!!

    • my dad also has this ..he is at the stage where dosent cotornl his moods its . but thankfully hes mostly happy i hope they find a cure soon..i didnt know it could lead to death ..love you dad

  9. Thank you for all you do. There is nothing more important than finding a cure for this awful disease that steals memories from people every day.

  10. Thank you for your hard work.

  11. My Mom passed away after a painful and heartbreaking decade from the onslaught of this devastating disease on May 18, 2012. It was bittersweet, knowing she is now free from the horrific entrapment, but I miss her everyday.

    God Bless all of you!

    • i understand it has taking 3 of my family members and i pray to god for a cure i think it is things that weigh on our shoulders or in our headfor years nd when we not expecting anything it stats like for myself when i snapped 6 years ago i was in bed a sleep and yes i was going thru depression and etc and i had afight before going to bed and man i found myself half dressed down the street thinking everyone wanted to hurt me well , it took me to get magellan in my life and ptayer and support from my peer recovery coach shelly riaz to get me on track today im better no meds but one or two and im back to helping others you see when someone get sick we want to baby them well dont stop ther life show them how to fight it never noone fought it is what it is and the devil can move aside and lets get the cure doctors etc my heart goes out to any one who is going thru any kind of sickneess

  12. i was caring for a 83 year ild er woman velma is her name and im still living caring for her husband well she has a mind out this world she was abroker and ran a school plus constrution and designed homes inside out , you should see her master bed room there a indian seener it is so real looking and her craftwomenship would amaze u. well i got to care for her 3 weeks befoere they placed her in ahome that cost 7000 a month which i think it a place but will never be home she has kids who dont care only her stepdaughter and son in law which took over and live out of state they are great people for astep daughter to do this is atrue blessing. you see im thinking of some tpye of place where even if u are sick you still can live i think im looking for help with opening a home or something for the cause i wish ther was someone who had a hone sitting to donate it to such a great cause

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