The Longest Day 2018
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Lauren Larsen
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Special Events Coordinator

Pictured with her father, Donald Larsen

Like a lot of families here in our community, my family has been touched by Alzheimer's Disease. I lost my grandmother and my father to the disease. It really wasn't until my father was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in his 50’s, that I could really see the devastation a diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease could bring to not only the individual, but an entire family.

As my dad battled Alzheimer's Disease, there were no treatments, no cures, no positive outlooks. I remember wishing for at least some kind of treatment. Something to help him not be a prisoner in his own mind. It was during this time I found myself turning to the Alzheimer's Association for support.

I relied on the Alzheimer's Association website to educate myself on the disease and care options. When things got toward the end, I attended one of the Alzheimer's Association’s support groups. I planned and hosted my own fundraising events. In 2009, I even signed up for Walk to End Alzheimer's as a volunteer on Walk day. After that, I returned every year as a Team Captain and formed my own Walk team!

After my dad passed away in 2012 at the age of 62, I realized I needed to do more. If I was going to wake up and go to work every day, it had to be for a good reason! My dad was my reason. In 2014, I accepted a position at the Alzheimer's Association - Heart of America as a Special Events Manager. I now spend my days working on the events that make such an impact in my own life, Walk to End Alzheimer’s and RivALZ. In three years I have seen our Kansas City Walk nearly double in revenue and size! Our RivAlz flag football game raises more than $50,000 every year and gets a younger generation involved in our organization. I see how the funds raised every day make a difference in our community and advance research. I am lucky to get to see first-hand how the Alzheimer's Association provides hope to so many families, just like they did for me.

Since my dad passed, I have gotten married and welcomed our son, William, in September 2016. I feel the need to work harder now more than ever. Not just for my dad, but for my husband and my son. I am hopeful that all our work and the support of our community behind our cause will allow for them to live in a world where they are not touched by Alzheimer’s Disease.




Alzheimer's Association

Our vision: A world without Alzheimer's disease®.
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.