By Marlo Sollitto, AgingCare.com Contributing Editor
A family is never quite the same after an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The disease gradually destroys memory, robs sufferers of a lifetime of memories, corrupts their personalities and makes them unable to function independently. Like millions of caregivers, Alan Arnette watched his mother succumb. That experience changed his life forever. He’s made it his life’s mission to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and help fund research.
The 7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer’s
What makes Mr. Arnette unique is how he’s going about his personal campaign. He is climbing the Seven Summits, the highest mountain peak on each continent, to honor his mother and to raise $1 million for Alzheimer’s disease research and awareness.
He is well on his way to achieving his ambitious goal. Arnette has already summitted Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, Aconcagua in Argentina and most recently Mt. Everest in Tibet. He is currently on his fourth climb: Denali in North America.
He is asking his supporters to donate a penny for every foot he climbs. His world journey for Alzheimer’s disease involves climbing 130,000 while enduring temperatures that drop to 40 degrees below zero with 50 mph winds.
Arnette, who started mountain climbing when he was 38, retired from his job with Hewlett-Packard in his late 40s to care for his mother, Ida, who died from Alzheimer’s in 2009. Since then, the 54-year-old advocate has worked tirelessly to inspire people to join his efforts. The Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program of Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy and Pfizer Inc. are funding Mr. Arnette’s climbs. All money he raises from donations will go directly to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Family Caregivers Association.
Mountain Climber Attempts 7 Summits for Alzheimer’s Research originally appeared on AgingCare.com