LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Maria Shriver's A Woman's NationTM and the Alzheimer's Association today launched Maria Shriver's Wipe Out Alzheimer's™ Challenge, a global health initiative powered by women's brains to end Alzheimer's disease. Informed and inspired by The Shriver Report, A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's, the Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge is a multi-pronged campaign to mobilize women to raise funds to fuel cutting-edge research on women and Alzheimer's and commit to getting educated, engaged and empowered to wipe out this staggering epidemic.
"Women are at the epicenter of this crisis which is why we must be at the heart of the solution," said Maria Shriver, founder of A Woman's Nation. "We want to better understand Alzheimer's disease. And then prevent it, treat it and beat it. My campaign to Wipe Out Alzheimer's is creating a global community of women activists, agitators and architects of change to ignite impact."
More than five million Americans have Alzheimer's disease – two thirds of whom are women. In her early sixties, a woman is about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's over the course of her lifetime than she is likely to develop breast cancer.
The Maria Shriver Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge will galvanize a global community of innovative and motivated women committed to:
- GET EDUCATED about Alzheimer's disease: what it is, what it isn't and how it affects their lives and their loved ones. Maria Shriver's Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge will equip women with tips and tools to help them understand how to potentially reduce their risk for Alzheimer's disease.
- GET ENGAGED and be inspired by the collection of women who are already making strides to wipe out Alzheimer's. Hear their stories, learn about their initiatives and use their brains to help.
- GET EMPOWERED to harness the power of their support networks and build their own networks to raise awareness, raise money and support one another every day.
Facts about women and Alzheimer's disease first reported in The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's, and subsequent reports by the Alzheimer's Association, inspired the creation of the first of its kind Women's Alzheimer's Research Fund to support cutting-edge research into gender differences and Alzheimer's and other dementias. One hundred percent of the funds raised by Maria Shriver's Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge, will fuel the centralized fund, which will be allocated to high-potential research initiatives focused on reaching meaningful advances on Alzheimer's disease.
For more than a decade, Maria Shriver has been on the front lines of the fight against Alzheimer's. In addition to publishing The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's, she has testified before Congress, produced the award-winning Alzheimer's Project with HBO, written the best-selling children's book What's Happening to Grandpa? and most recently executive produced the Oscar-winning film, Still Alice. Her Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge will build on the success of these initiatives with a new sense of timeliness and urgency.
"We are thrilled that Julianne Moore has won an Oscar and brought attention to Alzheimer's but attention is no longer enough. It is time to get serious. The Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge is an open invitation. The key to solving the Alzheimer's crisis is collaboration," said Shriver. "We are mobilizing a global community and engaging a myriad of organizations. Anyone interested in wiping out Alzheimer's is someone I am interested in working together with."
Maria Shriver has activated a collective of informed, influential, inspirational women, who have committed to make Alzheimer's and women's brains a priority in their own lives, work and philanthropy. The network is comprised of researchers, advocates, politicians, business leaders, entertainers and philanthropists, including Maria Carrillo, Senator Susan Collins, Meryl Comer, Leeza Gibbons, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Ai-jen Poo, Shonda Rhimes, Ann Romney, Brooke Shields, Dr. Reisa Sperling, Pat Summitt, Anne Sweeney, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Rita Wilson and many more.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Maria Shriver and A Woman's Nation on this exciting and necessary initiative," said Angela Geiger, Chief Strategy Officer, Alzheimer's Association. "Women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer's. While longevity and lower death rates explain this in part, there is an urgent need to understand how differences in brain structure, disease progression, and hormonal and molecular characteristics may contribute to higher incidence and rates of cognitive decline. Funds raised through Maria's Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge will all go towards the Alzheimer's Association's Women's Alzheimer's Research Fund."
Alzheimer's Disease and Women
Alzheimer's is a global epidemic. Worldwide, an estimated 44 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be cured or prevented. A woman's estimated lifetime risk of developing Alzheimer's at age 65 is one in six.
Not only are women more likely to have Alzheimer's, they are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer's. More than three in five unpaid Alzheimer's caregivers are women. Women are also two-and-a-half times more likely to provide 24-hour care for someone with Alzheimer's. Women are likely to experience adverse consequences in the workplace because of caregiving duties. Nearly 19 percent of women Alzheimer's caregivers had to quit work either to become a caregiver or because their caregiving duties became too burdensome.
To learn more about Maria Shriver's Wipe Out Alzheimer's Challenge and join the movement, please visit www.wipeoutalzheimers.org.
About the Alzheimer's Association
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. It is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer's research. The Association's mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Its vision is a world without Alzheimer's. Visit www.alz.org or call 800.272.3900.
About A Woman's Nation
A Woman's Nation™ is a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure that the value of women is recognized and respected – at home, in the workplace and as caretakers on the frontlines of humanity. Through its multimedia initiatives and innovative partnerships, A Woman's Nation informs, inspires and ignites change in hearts and minds. A Woman's Nation produced a series of award-winning Shriver Reports that explore seismic shifts in American culture and society affecting women today including The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's. Powered by collaboration, A Woman's Nation ignites ideas into action. To learn more, please visit www.AWomansNation.org.
About Maria Shriver
Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. She is the founder of A Woman's Nation, which has produced a series of award-winning Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in American culture and society affecting women today including The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Takes on Alzheimer's. Shriver has been a leading Alzheimer's advocate for over a decade, testified in front of Congress, Executive Produced the HBO Alzheimer's Project and the Emmy-nominated Paycheck to Paycheck and authored the bestselling children's book What's Happening to Grandpa?. She is an Executive Producer of The Mask You Live In, and also an Executive Producer of the Academy Award-winning film Still Alice, which tells the tale of a woman affected by early onset Alzheimer's disease.
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association; A Woman's Nation