I walked in a Superhero 5k yesterday with friends for the Monroe, MI Rotary. It was a fun event with 120+ people walking in SuperHero costumes. We had a great time. So many people were wearing their favorite SuperHero costume from when they were a kid. I chose to go a different route. I decided to go as a new Superhero called Alzheimer’s Avenger. It’s also the name of my friend’s flag football team.
When I was a kid, SuperMan was my SuperHero. As kids, we all needed a SuperHero to look up to. Today, I need a SuperHero to look up to in the fight to end Alzheimer’s. This superHero could be a scientist, researcher, doctor, nurse, caregiver, advocate, politician, celebrity, person with the disease, someone who lost someone to Alzheimer’s or someone who lost their life to Alzheimer’s and donated their brain to research.
If you are an Alzheimer’s Advocate or champion and attend events for Alzheimer’s or talk to people who already know about Alzheimer’s; you’re sharing awareness with people already familiar with this disease. We need to continue to do this and thank you for all you do! We also need to expand our reach and spread the word at other events that are not Alzheimer’s specific.
We need more SuperHero’s for Alzheimer’s! If we can get more scientist, researcher, doctor, nurse, caregiver, advocate, politician, celebrity, person with the disease and someone who lost someone to Alzheimer’s to become a SuperHero’s for the cause.
My Friend Natasha asked me to join her on the SuperHero 5k Walk/Run. I agreed! Also, a good friend of ours, Joe and several of Natasha’s friends from UPS walked too. We had a great time and enjoyed the wonderful weather on a Saturday morning.
I decided to become the Alzheimer’s Avenger! I found a purple Skin outfit and used my team walk shirt from our walk team from 2012. I became the Alzheimer’s Avenger. I was going to be Barney, but Natasha said that Barney was not a SuperHero and she would not walk with me if I dressed up as Barney!
At the event, they had a costume contest after the race. They judged individual and group costumes. They walked around and asked everyone who they were. When I said I was the Alzheimer’s Avenger, there was a good round of applause from the 120+ participants. I also had several walk up to me and thank me for raising awareness.
We need to do more to raise awareness in other settings: i.e. Sporting events, team sponsorships, college groups and organizations, branded credit cards, TV shows, celebrities, politicians, debates, rallies, social media, meet and greets, etc. We have to talk to people who are not aware of the disease; and those that are aware of the disease, but not spreading the word. Most people who know about the disease, do not understand the numbers around the disease. They also do not understand how underfunded the current research levels are.
Considering the number of people with the disease and those caring for people with the disease; I’m baffled at the small number of people who take advantage of the resources offered by the Alzheimer’s Association, the limited funding from the NIH, the limited number of people talking about it on social media, the limited number of people being an advocate for the cause and reaching out to their elected officials, the limited number of people walking in the walks, the limited number of people raising money for this cause, etc.
So I decided to reach out to my new SuperHero friends and they are all ready to stand up and fight for this cause. If we can get Superman, Underdog, Batman, Robin, The Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Green Lantern and many other SuperHero’s; we should be able to get you to make a call/send an email/write a letter to the President, your Senator, House Representative, state officials, city officials and local officials. Also, share one thing every day on your social networks to raise awareness; pick up the phone and call someone or talk to someone you run into during the day.
We need to do something every day to raise awareness! If you have been touched by this disease and you are not doing something every day; I would like to ask you to join me and all of the wonderful SuperHero’s and make a difference every day.
My Walk to End Alzheimer’s Team – Goal 100 walkers & $20k! Join my walk team-Toledo, OH, in your location or virtually #EndALZ http://ow.ly/hWcoA – You can also follow me on Twitter at @ALZandDementia