Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's nerve cells, or neurons, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans may have Alzheimer's disease and there is no known cure. Here are some additional facts about the disease (from the Alzheimer's Foundation of America):
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, or loss of intellectual function, among people aged 65 and older.
Alzheimer's disease is not a normal part of aging.
Alzheimer's disease is the third leading causes of death in the U.S.
It is estimated that one to four family members act as caregivers for each individual with Alzheimer's disease.
As our population ages, the disease impacts a greater percentage of Americans. The number of people age 65 and older will more than double between 2010 and 2050 to 88.5 million or 20 percent of the population; likewise, those 85 and older will rise three-fold, to 19 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Alan Arnette was a mountain climber before he became an advocate for Alzheimer's research. His mother, Ida Arnette along with several other members of his family suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Following the death of his mother in 2009, Alan decided to devote his mountain climbing to the memory of his mom and to use it to raise awareness, support and funds for Alzheimer's research.
The first phase of Alan's awareness campaign was achieved by climbing the Seven Summits in one year - between November 2010 and October 2011. The Seven Summits are the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.
Now Alan is poised to face his greatest challenge! He will attempt to summit K2, the world's second highest mountain and one of the most difficult and dangerous, in July 2014
Your donations to one of the selected Alzheimer's nonprofits goes 100 percent to the nonprofits, none goes to Alan or to fund his climbs.
How Abila got involved
Alan was the keynote speaker at our Abila 2014 Users and Developers Conference in March 2014. The reason we selected Alan to speak was because we were so impressed by his accomplishments: as a mountain climber, as an advocate and spokesperson for Alzheimer's research, and because he brought his many years of corporate experience to bear on everything he did. In every aspect, he exceeded our highest expectations.
There are motivational speakers and then there is Alan. At our conference, the audience was incredibly (and visibly) moved and inspired by Alan's presentation. Before the conference was over we realized that we could best help the many individuals and families who have been affected by Alzheimer's disease by providing financial support to Alan for his most challenging climb of all - his upcoming K2 summit attempt.
One hundred percent of the funds raised by Alan go for Alzheimer's research, with none going to his climbing expenses. Therefore, we wanted our support to be two-fold: we make his climb possible by funding his expenses, and we share his inspiring story with you and ask that you also support him by contributing to Alzheimer's research.