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April 2013 


A Message from Jennifer Howard, Executive Director
Jennifer HowardWelcome Spring! I’m excited to share with you that this month over 800 people - mostly volunteers - will be traveling to Washington, D.C. to talk with our lawmakers about the national health care crisis that is Alzheimer’s disease! The Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum saw its largest year in 2012 with 400 people attending. This year is the Forum’s 25th anniversary, and the Alzheimer’s Association not only filled all 800 slots for attendees but had to create a wait list. Those who attend will make personal visits on Capitol Hill with their legislators, participate in ceremonies around the area to show support and learn more about how to advocate throughout the year! I am excited to attend this event for the first time to personally welcome and thank all of our great volunteers from Michigan! You can visit from April 22-24 for the latest news, photos and other updates during the Forum.

Presley WrightI am also proud to stand together with a special advocate -  Presley Wright, who lost her father to early onset Alzheimer’s when she was only 15 years old (pictured here in the middle between her brother and dad).  She is now 19 and a powerful speaker and advocate for those who can no longer advocate for themselves. She is also one of our chapter's youngest Team Captains for our Walk to End Alzheimer's. So many people think of Alzheimer’s as an “older person” disease. Alzheimer’s - though mostly common in people over the age of 65 - affects the entire family! Preston is an example of a wonderful daughter who lost her father to this disease well before his time. There are millions of others who have lost fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, grandparents… and the list goes on. This has to stop! Unlike many other leading causes of death, there are no survivors of Alzheimer’s. You have never seen a person wearing a purple scarf or hat or ribbon saying “survivor”… yet.

What if we could prevent Alzheimer’s?  What would that look like? What if we could stop the progress of the disease in its tracks? What if we could give the care and support needed to those affected until we could do these things? That is what we are fighting for in Washington this month. Please join us in any way you can! We need as many voices as possible to be heard. You can send an email or make a phone call to your legislator! You can tell a friend or post information about our facts and figures (see below) on Facebook! If you’d like to help, please contact us!

Facts BannerAlzheimer's Association 2013 Facts and Figures
 were released on March 19.

Fact sheet >
Full report >
Michigan Statistics >    
YouTube Video >

Quick Facts:
  • Every 68 seconds an American develops Alzheimer's disease.
  • Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, including 180,000 people in Michigan.
  • Alzheimer’s is not just memory loss – it kills.
  • Today, there are no survivors of Alzheimer’s. If you do not die from it, you die with it.
  • 1 in 3 seniors will die with Alzheimer's or another dementia.
  • There was a 68% increase in deaths from Alzheimer's from 2000 – 2010.
  • More Americans are dying either from or with Alzheimer’s because a growing number of Americans are developing Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll not just on those with the disease – but also on their caregivers. There are about 507,000 caregivers in Michigan providing 577 million hours of unpaid care valued at $7,118 million.
  • 2.3 million Americans are “long-distance caregivers” (living an hour or more away) for people with Alzheimer’s. Costs for long-distance caregivers are almost twice as high as local caregivers. In Michigan $291 million are spent for higher health costs of these caregivers.
  • 2013 costs of Alzheimer's = $203 billion
  • The growing Alzheimer’s crisis is helping to bankrupt America.

2013 Annual Report
2012 Annual Report - Download it now (please be patient as it is a large PDF file)
The Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter’s fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 - June 30, 2012) was a year of further growth in many areas. We celebrated our 30th anniversary as a chapter in 2011, and it is hard to believe how far we have come not only at the local level but also as a much larger nationwide and worldwide movement.

We thank all of our incredible families, volunteers, community partners, donors and sponsors for the IMPACT they are making to end Alzheimer’s and to help families every day and look forward to a great 2013! 


Why do YOU fight Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia?
In the March issue we asked this question - "Why do YOU fight Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia?"  Here is one of your responses:

Marcia Arend wrote, "We have lost our outstanding family physician and a best friend and colleague to Alzheimer’s recently. In addition, we have two friends now diagnosed with the same disease and have had several family members and friends afflicted with dementia over the years. We realize all too well the effects these disorders have not only on those afflicted by them but also by their family members and care takers as well. It’s more than “aging”—it is a disease that needs a cure!"

If you want to share your story, please email us -


Education, Support and Online Resources
Community Education Programs:  Locate an education program in your community or call us at 800.272.3900 if you are interested in bringing one of our programs to your community, senior center, office, church, chamber of commerce, etc.

Caregiver Support Groups:  Locate a support group in your community to get support from others who understand what you are going through

Online Resources:


Help us find treatments.  Today.

Recruiting and retaining trial participants is now the greatest obstacle, other than funding, to developing the next generation of Alzheimer treatments.  Right now there are more than 100 promising treatments in clinical trials. Learn about clinical trials through Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch™, a clinical studies matching service. Free, easy to use, and confidential registration available at or 800.272.3900.

Questions?  Barb Betts Swartz | | 269.342.1482


Reason to Hope
Reason to Hope LogoReason to Hope
June 11 | 8:00 - 9:00 AM Breakfast
ANN ARBOR | Ann Arbor City Club | 1830 Washtenaw Avenue
View or download the brochure

A Reason to Hope community event raises funds for programs and services critical to the individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s disease and raises awareness of the work of the Alzheimer’s Association. You are invited to be our guest.  

Questions? Jennifer Howard | | 734.475.7043


2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's
Walk LogoThe Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s is a united movement to reclaim the future for millions and raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.  Who will you walk in honor or memory of?

green register for walk logo
     Find a 2013 Walk to End Alzheimer's near you

Allegan County  |  Ann Arbor  |  Brighton  |  Chelsea Area  | Jackson  |  Kalamazoo (Portage)
Lansing  |  Lenawee County (Adrian)  |  Ludington  |  Muskegon  |  Monroe County  |  St. Joseph

Questions? | 800.272.3900


Meet a Walk Team Captain
Linda MariettaLinda Marietta is a true warrior! She is a caregiver for her husband Wayne, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's nine years ago. He still lives with her, and she is with him pretty much round-the-clock.   She recently organized a Quarter-Mania fundraising event for her Monroe County Walk to End Alzheimer’s team Wayne's Warriors and raised $1,000, but she is still counting. Linda is passionate about sharing her story…

Forget About Alzheimer’s...  How?   Oh, how I would like to forget that word.  Forget about it how? It changes everything, and the people who are in this battle are physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially drained; relationships destroyed; and so alone, confused, helpless, and don’t know what to do.

Down on my knees I pray to God, “Please help me and give me strength, courage and wisdom to do what I need to help my husband.” Though my faith is sometimes weak, through God all things are possible. My eyes and mouth are wide open after a much needed support group in Monroe hosted by "Gabby’s Ladder".   I’ve also participated in a study called "Savvy Caregiver" - complete with materials such as books, slide films, lectures, and let’s not forget, homework too.   Most importantly, it offered a safe place for my husband.

Guess what?  Help is out there.   Just ask.   Don’t be afraid.   The Alzheimer’s Association has been great to me. I know I’m not alone. I’m taking it personal. Won’t you? Please donate, give, walk and share your story.  Tell the world you’re a warrior too.  Together, we can make a difference to END ALZ.

And start a walk team in your community. I will never forget Monroe County’s 1st Walk to End Alzheimer’s last year. It was truly the best day of my life since Wayne was diagnosed.   He is 1 of 180,000 people living with Alzheimer’s right here in Michigan. As a true warrior, I’m in this battle till the end - currently there is no cure. Alzheimer’s, how I would like to forget that word.   Thank you God, family and friends who have been in this battle with me for nine years.

I love you Wayne!  Your wife, Linda 


Top Walk Sponsors, Champion Teams and Media Partners
If you are interested in joining these top supporters and learning more abut the local recognition benefits available, view and download the Sponsorship Opportunities and Commitment Form

   United Methodist Retirement Communities 100w85h
Independence Village 100w65h  Jackson 100w65h  Senior Helpers 100w 65h


The Longest Day
One day.  June 21, 2013.  Sunrise to Sunset.  Filled with team activities.
Walk.  Run.  Bike.  Hike.  Bowl.  Paint.  Dance.  Rock climb.  Your choice.
100s of teams.  Join a team or start your own.

On Friday, June 21, the Alzheimer’s Association invites you to honor the strength, endurance and passion of those facing Alzheimer’s disease by participating in The Longest Day. From sunrise to sunset, gather your friends and do something you love to make a difference. From swimming to swing dancing, the funds you raise will help to advance Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Join us on The Longest Day to show that you’re in it until Alzheimer’s is finished. Register at | 800.272.3900.

ACBL-LogoThe Alzheimer's Association welcomes the American Contract Bridge League as the inaugural partner of The Longest Day. Their 165,000 members and 3,200 bridge clubs across North America are planning a day full of bridge related activities to raise awareness and funds for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. Many will teach, exhibit or play in a marathon of bridge games and bridge related activities from sunrise to sunset at their local bridge club.

Questions?  Lori Ezrow | | 734.475.7043 


Upcoming Chapter Events
Alzheimer's Awareness Day 
Official Tigers GroupComerica Park 2013DETROIT | Saturday, May 11 | 7:05 PM | Comerica Park
Detroit Tigers vs. Cleveland Indians
Special Ticket Package:  $40 (while inventory lasts)
  • Upper Box Infield ticket
  • Food Voucher (hot dog, chips, and small soft drink)
  • $5 Donation to the Alzheimer's Association
  • Alzheimer's Awareness Day T-Shirt
Purchase your tickets online today...

Download the flyer to share with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers...

Questions?  Lori Ezrow | | 734.475.7043 

2013 Ann Arbor Charity Golf Outing
ANN ARBOR | Monday, July 8
Travis Pointe Country Club

We are excited to announce that Absopure and EQ - The Environmental Quality Company are continuing their most generous support as our Presenting Sponsors.  In addition, State Representative David Rutledge will continue his support by chairing this amazing event for the 17th year!

Absopure    EQ      David Rutledge

Sponsors, Teams and Individual Golfers
View and download Sponsor, Team and Individual Opportunities

Questions?  Lori Ezrow | | 734.475.7043 


Volunteers Needed
SG Facilitators and Volunteer PresentersOur program team is also looking for new Support Group Facilitators to add additional Caregiver Support Groups throughout our area as well as Volunteer Presenters to help educate the community about Alzheimer's.

Questions?  Barb Betts Swartz | | 269.342.1482


Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. 
MGLC Alz Png Logo
Michigan Great Lakes Chapter

310 N. Main St., Suite 100  |  Chelsea, MI  48118
Regional offices in Kalamazoo, Lansing and Muskegon  |  800.272.3900
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