“The strongest people are not those who show strength in front of us, but those who win battles we know nothing about.” ~ Unknown

 

Every 64 seconds Alzheimer’s disease claims another victim. It slowly chips away at a lifetime of memories while degrading cognitive function and the ability to recognize familiar faces and names. It’s a terrifying experience not only for those affected, but for their friends and family who have no choice but to wait and watch as their loved ones become strangers.

In 2009, I began to witness this tragedy first-hand. I closely watched Alzheimer’s claim the lives of many adults, and I became overwhelmed with thoughts that this may one day happen to me, my family or someone I love. At the time, all I could think about was the life I was working so hard at to build, and the memories that came along with it, which I discovered could all be erased by Alzheimer’s – a disease that affects millions globally.

It was alarming that it didn’t seem to be much of a growing concern to the general public. The number of those affected was on the rise and I felt that the suffering caused by Alzheimer’s disease and the need for caregiver support strongly needed awareness built around it if anything was going to change, especially among young people. I quickly became passionate around educating others on the disease, and after throwing my first successful Alzheimer’s awareness event in 2012; Purple Elephant came to life.

Purple Elephant is a champion of Alzheimer’s awareness, a hub to provide education and promote brain health, a tribe for those affected to come together as one, a common ground to show caregivers that their lives are important too, and a beacon of hope that someday we can eradicate a devastating disease that affects so many.

We are inspired to continue this mission by the many families and young faces who share their stories with us every day. We believe the support networks we create can help make a better world for them and everyone affected by Alzheimer’s.

What began as a tiny ripple is now transforming into a wave of change that will one day put an end to the suffering that has been silent for too long.

Caitlin Johnston, Founder