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"The Longest Day" - special effort to fight Alzheimer's Disease

There are a variety of ways, you can join the fight against Alzheimer's disease

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Today is a special day in the fight against Alzheimer’s...as we talk about an effort that started here in charlotte 3 years ago. We're talking about The Longest Day Tennis Relay. Here with more are Christine John-Fuller and Tim Hausmann.

The statistics are staggering nearly an estimated 6.5 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer’s dementia, including 180,000 North Carolina residents, a number estimated to grow to as many as 210,000 by 2025.  Nationally, there are more than 11 million caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. In North Carolina, 356,000 caregivers provide a total of 514 million hours of unpaid care, valued at a total of $7.3 billion.  One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, hence the Longest Day Tennis Relay to help combat and mitigate this disease.

The Longest Day

    • Held annually on the summer solstice, The Longest Day invites participants to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through a fundraising activity of their choice. Throughout the year but culminating around June 21, The Longest Day participants use their creativity and passion to raise funds and awareness for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Participants bake, bike, hike, golf, knit, play bridge and participate in other favorite activities.
    • Across North Carolina there are already nearly 190 registered fundraisers being held. The creativity of the local participants includes such events The Longest Day Tennis Relay taking place in just a few weeks.  

The Longest Day Tennis Relay - July 16 

    • Started three years ago by Kate Johnstone in memory of her father who she lost to Alzheimer’s.
    • Tim joined Kate’s efforts last year, also for a very personal reason – his own mother. She was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer's and dementia in 2019 but it was 2013 when he first noticed changes. Tim has recently had to place her mother in a community with memory care support. The journey has been difficult one, but he’s grateful his background in financial planning allowed forethought for her care after her mother was the caregiver for his grandmother. 
      • “Unfortunately, her "Longest Day" is EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of her life. Her care is round the clock as she can't feed herself, go to the bathroom alone, bathe, drive or function without the help, which until recently, was her husband or respite care who came once a week to give him a break" says Hausmann. 
    • Event raised more than $16,000 last year, so this year they have expanded to three clubs – Providence Plantation Racquet & Swim, Myers Park Country Club, and Charlotte Country Club. And they’ve upped their goal to $50,000.
    • This year’s event
      • Saturday July 16 – Mixed doubles that will play for at least two hours.
      • All slots to play are filled, but donations are still being accepted.

Call to Action 

    • To make a gift to The Longest Day Tennis Relay OR connect with them to play or host at your own club next year, go to act.alz.org/tldtr
    • To host a fundraiser or event or to learn more about The Longest Day visit alz.org/thelongestday or by calling 800-272-3900.
    • Additional information on virtual educational programs and other care and support resources or how to get involved with the Association, can be found by visiting the Alzheimer’s Association, Western Carolina Chapter at alz.org/northcarolina or by calling our 24/7 Helpline (800.272.3900).

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