Stopping the Monster

Alzheimer’s is personal for me.

Mamu Christmas 1991

I lost my mom nearly 7 years ago to Alzheimer’s after an 8+ year journey, and my mother-in-law 5 years ago after a somewhat shorter, though no less painful, journey. A dear friend of ours is dealing with Alzheimer’s, which means his 62-year-old wife must also deal with it – every single minute of every single day.

My new book, Open Circle, may be centered around a fictional adult day center but it deals with the very real issues of dementia, Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia), and how we care for the elderly. Throughout my mom’s years dealing with Alzheimer’s, we met amazing people devoted to providing the best possible care for the seniors they worked with day in and day out. We learned about cutting edge programming like Augustana Open Circle Adult Day programs where they offer person-centered care. And we discovered that there arUpdated OpenCircleFrontCover_previewe countless families like ours dealing with an ever-changing disease that keeps them always feeling one step behind.

I’ve participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for a number of years now, and this year am also participating in The Longest Day by releasing my book on June 21. None of us alone has the answer to this terrible disease, but by working together, raising funds and awareness, and offering support and love to those directly affected, we can find the cause and cure and stop the monster.

Check out my Longest Day page HERE. Perhaps you’ll want to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association or design your own Longest Day activity to raise funds. I hope you’ll be motivated to get involved in fighting this disease that strikes adults of all ages, and is costing our country over a quarter of a trillion dollars EVERY YEAR. (Facts & Figures Report)

  • Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Between 2000 and 2015 deaths from heart disease decreased 15% while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased 123%.
    (2018 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures)


If Alzheimer’s is such a monster, what you could possibly do to fight it? Improve your understanding of it. Increase global awareness. Said another way: spread the word and raise funds.

I invite you to join me in stopping the monster on June 21st. I’ll do me (looking forward to a book launch). You do you. Here are some ideas for fundraising:

  • Writer-types – commit to writing X number of words (in a day or in a week), and ask people to sponsor you if you reach your goal.
  • Editor-types – ask your clients to donate part of their payment to you to Alzheimer’s. Or take on a few special editing projects and donate your fee to Alzheimer’s.
  • Reader-types – if you’re a voracious reader, decide how many books you’ll read AND review in June, and ask people to sponsor your readathon.
  • Artist-types – commit to outlining/drafting/sketching/creating X number of new project, and ask people to sponsor your creations. Consider adding a special thank you to them in the finished work.
  • Baker-types – do you love to bake? Offer to bake something special (bars, cookies, cakes, pies) for a party, your church, a neighborhood get-together, etc. and request people make a donation to Alzheimer’s as payment.
  • Fixer Upper-types – offer to be a handyman for friends, neighbors, etc. and ask them to make a donation as part of the cost.
  • Yardworker-types – offer to rake a neighbor’s yard, plant flowers, etc. and ask them to make a donation for your labor.
  • Kid-types – have a lemonade or cookie stand, run errands for a neighbor, put on a neighborhood play or circus, decide how many books you’ll read in the month of June, and ask for donations to Alzheimer’s.