I am just back from Hilarity for Charity, a fundraising event put on by Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller. Lauren’s mother was diagnosed at the age of 55, when Lauren was just 25 years old. Lauren and Seth organized this event to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association and dispel the myth that Alzheimer’s is just an old person’s disease.
“Tonight, we will laugh to forget how sad this disease is,” Lauren says in the program. “But, more importantly, we’ll laugh to remember that changing the destiny of this illness is up to us.” Continue reading “Celebrities turn out for Seth Rogen’s Alzheimer’s fundraiser” »
In January of 2009, Greenbrae, Calif., resident Kathleen Zalecki was approached by her daughters who expressed concerns about her memory. As an active almost-65-year-old who cycled regularly and was living a full and busy life, the conversation was challenging.
“My first reaction was denial and anger; what they were saying was difficult to hear and accept,” says Kathleen. “But I was eventually able to recognize changes that were becoming problematic and I agreed to get tested.”
Continue reading “Alz Profile: Kathleen Zalecki, Living With Alzheimer’s” »
The Strom family: Jane and Roger along with sons Erik, Zack and AJ
Leave a comment below to let us know about the everyday heroes in your life! In honor of Alzheimer’s Action Day on September 21, we are highlighting 21 Everyday Heroes. Today, meet Roger Strom, our 12th everyday hero. As of today, Roger is the top fundraiser for Walk to End Alzheimer’s in San Jose, with $11,000 raised to date! Roger’s wife has younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease and he and has family have made fundraising a family affair, with son Erik raising funds with his fraternity for the San Francisco Walk. Read more about Roger and his family in this Los Altos Town Crier article: When memory slips away, caregivers are challenged or donate to Roger here: Donation page of Roger Strom. Learn more about how you can raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease at www.alz.org/wam.
Not normally a sports fan, there are some nuggets of information even I can’t avoid. Like the incredible record of the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team. So, when I read today that their long-time coach, Pat Summitt, has early onset Alzheimer’s (she’s only 59), the news was like a slap in the face. That’s the “bad” – a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is never good, right?
But the courage Ms. Summitt displayed in opening up to the public, while saying that she’ll continue to coach as long as it makes sense, certainly strikes me as the “good.” One of my mantra’s is, after all public awareness! Visibility! Information! The very pleadings that were expressed during the recent NAPA listening session held in San Francisco on August 10th!
And, here’s another one: I must have missed it, but Glen Campbell announced in June that he has Alzheimer’s. He’s still engaged in his music and has a new album coming out on August 30th. Again, the “good” and the “bad.”
I thank these two celebrities for not hiding behind a veil. They and their loved ones are not afraid of speaking out. It’s about time! All of this helps us beat down the stigma we know is associated with Alzheimer’s.
What’s also buried in these stories is that these two individuals know that their lives are defined by what they can do, not by what they can’t (and they are supported in their belief by those who live and work with them). And, they can do a lot! This is another powerful message worth repeating. Continue reading “Celebrities with Alzheimer’s in the news: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” »