Since 2000, deaths from Alzheimer's have risen 68% while deaths from other major diseases such as heart disease, breast cancer, and HIV have decreased. Why is this? Awareness and funding. Last year, the National Institute of Health spent 5.8 billion dollars on cancer and 4.3 billion dollars on heart disease. Only 500 million was spent on Alzheimer’s.
Nichole Ivey from Lebanon, Maine, has witnessed first-hand the effects Alzheimer’s has on a loved one. As a result of her experiences, she is vowing to raise awareness of this disease to increase funding for research. Her hope is that in the month of September - Alzheimer’s Awareness Month — the NFL can “go purple” just as they “go pink” in October for Breast Cancer Awareness.
Why the NFL? First, research has suggested a link between dementia related syndromes and cerebral concussions, which are common in sports injuries. Memory loss could be become a reality for some of these players.
Second, the NFL gets a lot of exposure. As millions of people tune in to watch their favorite teams, going "purple" could bring enormous attention to Alzheimer's and other dementias. Increased awareness can mean increase funding for resources and research. What an awesome idea! I applaud Nichole and the cause!
Sign the petition for the NFL to Go Purple.
Hear Nicole tell her story (start at 65 minute mark).