June 21 is the longest day of the year, but the Alzheimer’s Association dedicates the day to awareness of a disease that some call “the long goodbye.”
Participants in “The Longest Day” raise money by doing an activity of their choice for 16 hours, emphasizing the long journey undertaken by those living with Alzheimer’s and those caring for someone with the disease. The day’s activities ranged from running, cycling and dance marathons to playing Bridge, holding craft-a-thons and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
At least 725 teams across the country participated in the event, which had raised over $622,000 by Friday afternoon, according to the event’s progress tracking site. One team, the Sagamore Bridge Club, Syossett, N.Y., has raised more than $41,500 themselves so far.
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S., and more than 5.1 million people live with the disease.