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Mike Claiborne raises Alzheimer’s awareness for The Longest Day

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Posted: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 10:43 pm

Sports commentator Mike Claiborne and his dogs, Boogie and Maya, invite area residents to participate in The Longest Day on Saturday, June 21, 2014. Claiborne’s team, Claib’s Canines, will walk their dogs for an hour throughout Downtown St. Louis as part of his team’s activity. While on the walk, Claiborne will give out tickets to upcoming St. Louis Cardinals’ games. 

Held annually on the summer solstice, The Longest Day symbolizes the seemingly endless journey so many facing Alzheimer’s disease are asked to endure. Teams will divide 16 hours among each member and participate in any activity ranging from running, cooking, knitting to playing bridge, to help advance Alzheimer’s care, support and research. 

“It is important to support the Alzheimer’s Association because Alzheimer’s is sixth leading cause of death in this country with a new case developing every 67 seconds,” said Claiborne. “You are not the first person to be affected by this disease, and you will not be the last. There is a critical need to accelerate the Alzheimer’s movement and create awareness for Alzheimer’s disease, and the programs and services available to support those affected.” 

Claib’s Canines will meet at Wolfgang's Pet Stop, 1820 Washington Avenue, at 8:30 a.m. and finish the walk by 9:30 a.m. Residents interested in joining Claiborne’s team can donate $20 and receive a dog treat and refreshments along the path. Along the path, Claiborne will provide opportunities for individuals to win St. Louis Cardinals tickets. 

Claiborne says he wants to use the walk as a way to create an open discussion about Alzheimer’s disease while keeping a light-hearted environment. “It’s okay to talk about it. There is help available. You just need to reach out for it. Our journey through Downtown St. Louis will be entertaining. You never know where we might stop,” added Claiborne. 

Just over ten years ago, Claiborne and his father were the primary caregivers for Claiborne’s mother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Shortly after the diagnosis, Claiborne became a board member for the Alzheimer’s Association, St. Louis Chapter. 

“The Longest Day is designed to give individuals the choice in how they honor those affected by this disease,” said Stacy Tew-Lovasz, president/CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association St. Louis Chapter. “Mike’s team is a unique activity that anyone with a dog in St. Louis community can participate in.” 

Claiborne is partnering with Wolfgang’s Pet Stop, Stray Rescue of St. Louis and the Washington Post to host the event. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and the nation’s sixth leading cause of death. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including Missouri and Illinois with a combined total of 320,000 individuals, and this number is estimated to grow to as many as 16 million by year 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figures report. 

To start a team or learn more about The Longest Day, visit alz.org/thelongestday or facebook.com/fightalz. For more information about Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org/stl.    

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