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The holiday season is here once again, bringing with it an opportunity for reflection along with all its hustle and bustle. This is a time of year when to dos lists are never ending, but I wanted to start the season off right with a list of gratitude. As the President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area Chapter, I have been inspired at every turn this past year.

From families finding the tools they need to care for loved ones with the dignity they deserve, to the biggest advancement in dementia research to date. Including younger generations boldly embracing the cause as their own, we are closer to our ultimate goal - the first Alzheimer's survivor - than ever before.

It is my hope this list will help you start the new year re-energized in the fight to end Alzheimer’s! It is because of your dedication and commitment, that we are making a difference.  

10. In just five years, the Brain Ball has raised $7.5 million to support the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association. Congratulations to all previous honorees, sponsors and volunteer leadership!

9. We proudly supported local caregivers with 55 support groups throughout the region. We also offer 10 Memory Cafes for people in the early-stage to connect with others living with Alzheimer’s.

8. In June, more than 20 local Alzheimer’s advocates on 11 Congressional Action Teams represented us all on Capitol Hill for the Advocacy Forum. Learn how you can join their year round efforts to make Alzheimer’s a national priority.

7. Did you hear that our Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup? In the moments after clenching the Cup, TJ Oshie bravely shared his father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and had the entire nation talking about the cause.

6. The day with the most light is the day we fight. This year, more than 70 teams from across the DC metro participated in a global movement to support families facing Alzheimer’s on The Longest Day. Registration is now open, and we are actively recruiting committee members for 2019!

5. We have the best volunteers in the nation and we need each and every single one. From administrative support to representing the Chapter at health fairs to leading support groups and delivering education programs, we couldn’t serve families in DC and 16 surrounding counties without you. 

4. Local families logged 1,100 hours of care consultations with our expert staff. In addition to care consultations, information and support is available round the clock, including holidays, through our 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.

3. The 2018 Walk to End Alzheimer’s season saw 7,812 Walkers, 750 volunteers and more committee members than ever before. We’re still working hard to reach our goals and encourage you to continue your fundraising or support your local Walk by making a gift by December 31.

2. Our advocates successfully secured a $425 million increase for Alzheimer's and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for fiscal year 2019, raising total annual research spending on Alzheimer's to $2.3 billion. To put this incredible accomplishment into context, in 2011, when the Alzheimer's Association and AIM fought for the creation and passage of the National Alzheimer's Project Act, annual funding for the disease was just $448 million. This rapid increase in such a short period of time is unheard of and a testament to your dedication and hard work.

1. The results from the SPRINT Mind study shared at Alzheimer’s Association International Conference are considered by some to be the single most important update in Alzheimer’s research ever. The first randomized clinical trial to demonstrate that intensive blood pressure treatment reduces new cases of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) provides the strongest evidence to date about reducing risk of MCI and dementia.

These are just 10 of countless highlights from our year, largely due to the generosity of our donors and volunteers. To see more inspiration or honor a caregiver in your life, visit alz.org/honor.

We’re grateful for your support so that we can continue serving local families until we realize our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s. On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association National Capital Area CHapter, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Kate Rooper
Chapter President and CEO
Alzheimer's Association National Capital Area Chapter