The Longest Day is a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Teams will complete a day filled with activity to raise funds and awareness for the efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Held annually on the summer solstice, The Longest Day symbolizes the seemingly endless journey so many facing Alzheimer’s disease are asked to endure. Participants will complete approximately 16 hours of activity ranging from running, cooking, and knitting, horseback riding to playing bridge, to help advance Alzheimer’s care, support and research.
Ann Tillery has organized her Longest Day team with the help of her stepson Sean Tillery,owner of Skydive Atlas because she has a personal connection to Alzheimer’s disease.
Her mother, Alta Walters of Columbus, was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, Ann’s mother-in-law, Thelma Tillery of Kearney, died from this devastating disease this past Memorial Day.
Thelma was always independent, determined, and retained her playful spirit to the end. On her 85th birthday in 2005, she celebrated by skydiving for the first time, which was featured on CNN. Unforgettable, this memory of skydiving carried with her even as other memories faded. That is one of the reasons Ann and Sean have chosen skydiving as their activity for The Longest Day.
Limited opportunities to skydive on The Longest Day are available. For more information call Sean Tillery at 308-240-1881.
Another team in Kearney that is participating in The Longest Day is led by Keena Newtson. Keena’s team will be horseback riding from Kearney to North Platte from sunrise to sunset.
Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including 33,000 individuals in Nebraska. This number is estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association® 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures report.
Susie Peterson, Community Outreach Specialist for the Alzheimer’s Association said, “The Longest Day is a wonderful opportunity for participants to honor individuals and the caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Battling this disease requires passion, strength, and endurance. Many of these participants have been personally touched by this devastating disease. I applaud the efforts of these individuals for bringing more awareness to this disease and the Alzheimer’s Association.”
To learn more about Alzheimer’s Association, go to alz.org or call 800.272.3900.