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Inaugural Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month initiates a global conversation about dementia

Inaugural Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month initiates a global conversation about dementia
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June 1, 2014
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Inaugural Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month initiates a global conversation about dementia

There are at least 44 million people worldwide living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and those numbers are expected to grow to 76 million by 2030. During the inaugural Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month this June, the Alzheimer's Association is asking people around the world to wear purple — the color of the Alzheimer's movement — and use their brains to fight Alzheimer's disease.

Despite being the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, Alzheimer's disease is still largely misunderstood. Often thought of as minor memory loss, Alzheimer's is actually a fatal disease that kills nerve cells and tissue in the brain, affecting an individual's ability to remember, think and plan. As the disease progresses, the brain shrinks dramatically due to cell death. Individuals lose their ability to communicate, recognize family and friends and care for themselves.

According to the Alzheimer's Association 2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of people agree with the mistaken belief that Alzheimer's disease must run in their family for them to be at risk. When looking at certain ethnic groups, these numbers were even higher. A third of Latinos (33 percent) and almost half of Asians (45 percent) agreed with that incorrect statement. In actuality, everyone with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer's, a disease that currently has no way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression.

"Alzheimer's disease is devastating millions of families and threatening economies worldwide, yet it is still widely misunderstood," said Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer at the Alzheimer's Association. "Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness of the Alzheimer's crisis and educate people on the realities of the disease. Because everyone is at risk, the Alzheimer's Association is asking everyone to join the purple movement and help protect our greatest assets, our brains."

During Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, people around the world will come together on a special day to raise awareness and funds for the fight against Alzheimer's disease. On June 21, teams will participate in The Longest Day®, a sunrise-to-sunset event to honor those facing Alzheimer's with strength, passion and endurance. To start or join a team, visit

In support of the inaugural Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month, eBay Giving Works is once again partnering with the Alzheimer's Association. The week of June 16, leading up to The Longest Day, everyone is invited to "favorite" the Alzheimer's Association at and the Association will be the exclusive charity at check out. Additionally, Alex and Ani will launch the new Sunflower signature expandable wire charm bangle through the company's Charity by Design division. A portion of all proceeds (20 percent) from the sale of the bangle will directly benefit the Alzheimer's Association.

Other ways to join the fight against Alzheimer's disease during June include:

  • Share the facts — Post and tweet about Alzheimer's disease and brain risk throughout the month. If you have a brain, you are at risk for Alzheimer's disease.
  • Be social — Turn Facebook purple using an END ALZ graphic as your profile picture.
  • Go purple — Wear purple all month but especially on Saturday, June 21, the longest day of the year, to support those facing the devastation of Alzheimer's disease every day.
  • Use your brain to fight Alzheimer's disease — Become an Alzheimer's advocate and write your members of Congress to ask for more federal funding for Alzheimer's research.

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, how to get involved and purple gear, visit

eBay Giving Works
Integrated into eBay's regular buying and selling platform, eBay Giving Works makes it easy for people to support important causes, both in the U.S. and abroad. It enables sellers to donate a portion of their sales and buyers to shop while supporting their favorite charities — all the while giving nonprofits an opportunity to engage new supporters.

Alex and Ani
Alex and Ani, LLC offers eco-conscious, positive energy products created by designer Carolyn Rafaelian, founder, creative director and CEO. Alex and Ani is synonymous with Made in America. Its World Headquarters are located in the Greater Providence, Rhode Island area, where its products are designed, manufactured, and assembled using recycled local materials. Carolyn believes that every individual has a positive message to share with the world, and by incorporating powerful symbolism and design into each positive energy piece, Alex and Ani provides a vehicle for wearers to express their individuality. An Inc. 500 Company, Alex and Ani has retail stores in addition to retail partners both domestically and internationally. Please visit for more information.

Charity by Design
Created in February of 2011, Charity by Design is a unique division focused solely on giving and making the dreams of charitable organizations come true. Charity by Design empowers non-profit organizations both on a national and local scale to reach their goals by sharing their mission through the power of positive energy and creative design. Our customized symbolic charms capture the essence of a charity making it more accessible to the public while raising awareness and funds. A portion of proceeds are donated directly to non-profit organizations who strive to enhance the quality of lives on Earth. By allowing consumers to enter the charitable world through their purchases, we believe a new generation of philanthropists will emerge.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

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