Maui News

Ironman triathlete cycling up Haleakalā to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Association

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Ironman triathlete Lori McCarney is riding up Haleakalå in honor of her father who died from Alzheimer’s. Photo Credit: Alzheimer’s Association

Today – the summer solstice and the day with the most light – Hawaiʻi residents will join others across the country to participate in “The Longest Day” to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through activities of their choice.

Ironman triathlete Lori McCarney of Honolulu is cycling up to the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakalā.

McCarney, a Hawaiʻi Board member of the Alzheimer’s Association, is doing the ride to honor her father, Sanford Brown. He suffered from Alzheimer’s for eight years before passing in 2016.

McCarney has raised more than $6,000 in her quest for $10,000 to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association.  

Alzheimer’s is progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. Brain cell connections and the cells themselves degenerate and die.

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No cure exists, but medications and management strategies may temporarily improve symptoms.

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“Physical activity is one of the best ways to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia,” sid LJ Duenas, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association in Hawaiʻi. “Many of us may not be able to climb 10,000 feet, but we can certainly find ways that work for each of us to live healthier by incorporating some physical activity into our daily lives.” 

McCarney said her dad and his loving wife lived with her for three years, “giving me daily insight into the awful progression of this horrible disease.”

Hawaiʻi residents who would like to join McCarney’s efforts can donate online at tinyurl.com/lorimccarney or by calling the Alzheimer’s Association at 808-591-2771.

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On “The Longest Day,” participants choose an activity – biking, cooking, playing bridge, swimming, dancing Tahitian, hosting virtual workouts, sewing and more – to shine a light on the more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and the more than 16 million family members and friends providing care and support.

Key facts about Alzheimer’s in Hawaiʻi include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the fifth-leading cause of death, and one of the costliest. 
  • 1 in 3 kupuna die with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. 
  • More than 29,000 people living with Alzheimer’s and more than 65,000 family members and friends are caring for them.

Visit alz.org/thelongestday for more information and to register.

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