Bradley Cooper, Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Garner have done it. Justin Bieber, Seth Rogan and Zooey Deschanel have participated as well, not to mention probably some of your neighbors, relatives or friends. Soon, you might be seeing more of your favorite people - famous or not - have one thing in common: purple.
Millions are joining together - and donning their favorite purple wardrobe pieces - during the month of June to raise awareness about the most expensive, 6th deadliest disease in this country: Alzheimer’s Disease.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease? With a diagnosis every 67 seconds, Alzheimer’s is the most common form of progressive dementia (a general term for memory loss) and currently affects over 5,000,000 people in the US alone. Alzheimer’s, as told by the National Association (alz.org), is not a normal process of aging, although we know that the risk for developing the debilitating disease increases with age. If you are familiar with the recent Oscar-winning movie “Still Alice”, you may be aware that age is not necessarily a determining factor. Early-onset sufferers can experience symptoms as early as their 40’s and 50’s. This, however, is relatively much less common.
“Ninety percent of what we know about Alzheimer’s has been discovered in the last 15 years,” (alz.org) and as the forefront of biomedical research all over the globe, this currently incurable disease is on its way to what is hopefully transformative scientific discovery.
So what can you do about it? Think back on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After a few pivotal participants, the online world was flooded (pun intended) with a creative way to spread awareness of this formerly under-represented cause. The ALS organization reported $100 million in one single month. The entire year prior, they reported just $2.3 million. Think about that. ALS, like Alzheimer’s, has no current cure, but has an ever-deepening support system both financially and otherwise. Awareness is powerful. Awareness propagates research. Research reaches further towards a cure.
This month is Alzheimer’s and Brain awareness month. Join the millions around the globe by wearing purple, learning more about the disease, maybe even consider donating what you can to the current research efforts.
On June 21st (the summer solstice), teams of friends, family, schools and workplaces will be hosting sunrise-to-sunset events on The Longest Day. A symbol of homage to the duration of the challenge faced by patients and caregivers of Alzheimer’s Disease, fun activities of your design are used to encourage awareness and donations to the Alzheimer’s Association. Get a group of friends together and add purpose to your summer solstice: host a picnic with games like cornhole, croquet, or frisbee. A simple $5 to play would go so far in a big group! Wear purple, soak up the sun, spend time with your favorite people and know that all the while you’ve been doing something incredibly meaningful.
You’re not only investing in the tens of millions of patients and caregivers of Alzheimer’s Disease, but investing in yourself and loved ones. I don’t know about you, but I want a cure waiting for me in my old age.
The time is now to see that happen.
Go to alz.org for more info on how to #GoPurple and #ENDALZ.
To voices, actions and cures,