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Medical Edge: Longest Day event funds research

Updated: Friday, October 24 2014, 04:38 PM EDT
DAYTON, Ky. (Liz Bonis) -- A Dayton, Kentucky woman is one of many who will honor a loved one Saturday as part of a national event called The Longest Day.

"My mother-in-law has dementia," said Layne Haas. "She's in the middle stages, and I actually created a team called Memory Lane to honor her."

A stroll down memory lane isn't an easy thing when someone you love has the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. "A lot of people don't realize, Alzheimer's is the 6th leading cause of death."

So in honor of those living with this disease, which causes the brain to deteriorate, eleven hundred teams nationwide will come together for an event held each year on summer solstice. That's the longest day of the year.

"It recognizes the courage and the endurance of those who are dealing with this on a daily basis," said Steve Olding of the Alzheimer's Association.

That longest day has some symbolism for one group, caregivers, who often start taking care of someone when the sun goes up and don't finish until the sun goes down. This weekend they will recognize those caregivers and help support Alzheimer's research. You can do the same thing by participating in a variety of events.

For example, Layne Haas's team will cook up a storm in honor of her mother-in-law. "With the progression of her disease, she's not able to do as much as she always has, so from sunrise to sunset my team will be cooking a variety of recipes."

Others will go bowling all day to try and help researchers pin down the cause of this disease. There's also a group playing bridge all day and a national dance-off competition.

All of the teams get sponsors, complete the task and give the money to the Alzheimer's Association. The goal is to take on a disease, that Layne Haas and Steve Olding say feels like a long good-bye. It's also why it's great to remember them on the longest day in  a very special way.

CLICK HERE for link to The Longest Day for Alzheimer's Association.

Follow Liz Bonis on Twitter @lbonis1, and LIKE her on Facebook.

VIDEO HEREMedical Edge: Longest Day event funds research

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