September 13, 2012: September is designated as World Alzheimer’s Month and each year the Alzheimer’s Association is supported through a variety of fundraising projects designed to support research and treatment, and raise awareness about Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease affecting the memory and cognitive capacity of those afflicted. Over 5.4 million people suffer with Alzheimer’s and is the 6th leading cause in deaths. Being diagnosed with Alzeheimer’s is a frightening and a life-altering experience, and the disease affects both the individual and their families who many times act as care-givers. The role of care-giver is a very expensive and an emotionally/physically draining task. Often care givers need as much support as the individual battling the disease.
For this reason a fundraising foundation named ‘The Elephant Project‘ was created. The ‘Elephant Project’ was begun by a man named David Niederhoffer in honor of his grandfather who passed away after battling the disease for years and its name was inspired by the phrase “An elephant never forgets”.
This project’s goal is to raise awareness about the disease and the signs for early detection, to provide funding for more research in advanced treatment options and to fund projects that provide support to care-givers and families. Each year, celebrities and artists are asked to use their platform to reach as many people as possible around the world for support. One Direction was asked to support the project in 2012. Louis, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Niall all posed with their autographed elephant beanies that then were put up for auction.
Their 5 elephant beanies along with other celebrities’ raised thousands of pounds to support victims of the disease and their families.
Below is shared from the Alzheimer’s website and gives a snapshot into a few of the support systems already in place that are funded by donations just like The Elephant Project.