Awareness Grows as Support Increases
While funding the most ground breaking research is and will always be the primary focus of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, we also participate in many outreach and community events each year. In 2015, these events, coupled with an increasingly bright national spotlight on the disease, contributed to heightened Alzheimer’s awareness and support for finding a cure.
From movies to music, headlines to books, daytime to primetime, Alzheimer’s had an undeniable influence on American culture.
We saw Julianne Moore win a Best Actress Oscar for her beautiful and touching portrayal of a woman diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in “Still Alice.” Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and our heroes continued to leverage the film’s success, and its powerful depiction of the devastation the disease causes, through screenings and book signings.
Based on the idea that music has a powerful connection to both memories and emotions, our own Rudy Tanzi collaborated with musician Chris Mann, a finalist on the hit show “The Voice,” to create the song “Remember Me.” This anthem of hope, which is also now a music video, is about someone with Alzheimer’s who doesn’t want to be forgotten.
These highly visible references to Alzheimer’s in popular culture, as well as the carry-through in the media, from mainstream news outlets to Rolling Stone magazine to viral content aggregator BuzzFeed, raised awareness of the disease with new audiences.
The first Global Family Reunion, created and spearheaded by writer A.J. Jacobs, brought together more than 3,700 people in New York City with the message that we are all “cousins” in one way or another, and that we need to fight Alzheimer’s disease together. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund created a “Tree of Family Memories” for the event, which enabled participants to write favorite family memories on leaves and add them to the tree.
Rudy Tanzi, chairman of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Research Consortium, also helped keep CAF in the news through some of his own accomplishments this year. In March, Tanzi was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” for his work on Alzheimer’s in a Dish.
In addition, Tanzi once again collaborated with author and spiritual leader Deepak Chopra, M.D., to release their new book, “Super Genes.” The book serves as a guide to help readers lead a healthier life despite the genes they inherited and take their well-being into their own hands.
CNN Headline News (HLN) anchor Mike Galanos recommended Cure Alzheimer’s Fund as his charity of choice for “Giving Tuesday,” a global day dedicated to giving back during the holiday season. HLN ran Mike’s very personal story about his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s several times throughout the giving season, which helped propel us to nearly triple the Giving Tuesday donations we received compared to prior years.
This steady drumbeat of Alzheimer’s in the mainstream kept the disease in the spotlight, relevant and top of mind for many Americans throughout the year. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund continued to share some of the spotlight as well, which helped us garner more than 6,000 new donors in 2015.