The following post is from Alan Arnette, an alpine mountaineer and Alzheimer's disease advocate who is climbing to the highest peak on each continent to raise awareness of the growing prevalence of the disease and the enormous financial and personal burden it places on people with the disease, their caregivers and society. Alan's goal is to raise $1 million to advance Alzheimer's research.
The Alzheimer's Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. is funding Alan's climbs for The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything campaign. All money Alan raises will go directly to the organization he has selected, the Cure Alzheimer's Fund™, for research.
I lost my mom, Ida, to Alzheimer's about a year ago. As my family and I went through the stages of the disease with her - watching her lose her short term memory, then long term memory, not being able to take care of herself, losing her identity and finally succumbing to the disease; it was horrifying.
We were helpless knowing there was no cure. We could only keep her comfortable.
But what is more tragic is that every 70 seconds another family starts that same devastating journey. The toll on the individual, families, caregivers and finances is beyond belief. Today, there are over 5 million people with Alzheimer's in the U.S., 25 million worldwide and those numbers are projected to quadruple by 2050.
That is why we are starting The 7 Summits for Alzheimer's: Memories are Everything campaign to raise awareness of Alzheimer's and $1M for research.
I am climbing the highest peak on each continent over the next year starting later this month, with Antarctica's Mt. Vinson. By setting this huge personal goal, I hope to inspire people to follow me, visit our website and Facebook page and thus learn about Alzheimer's and make a donation to research.
I selected The Cure Alzheimer's Fund, which is a non-profit that directs 100% of all donations to promising research and shares the results across all industries and organizations.
About me; I am 54 and took early retirement in 2007 after 30 years with Hewlett-Packard. I have been climbing for 15 years including 20 major expeditions around the world. Today, I live in Colorado with my wife and am focused on my Alzheimer's work.
The work on Alzheimer's and other health issues at J&J is critical and meaningful to so many people. Hopefully one day, no family will go through what we did.
Please know how much I appreciate your support and please follow along with the climbs!
Memories are Everything