The world’s of triathlon and Alzheimer’s came crashing together yesterday when Jack Johnstone, the co-founder of the triathlon, died after battling Alzheimer’s since 2013.
An All-American swimmer, Johnstone took up running later in life and, in San Diego in 1977 with his friend Don Shanahan, started the sport of Triathlon. Now nearly 40 years later, triathlon has millions of participants in the U.S. alone and is an Olympic sport.
Today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. Payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050. Aside from the horror of living with this disease or caring for people with it, we simply can’t afford this disease to continue to grow. Our healthcare system will go bankrupt.
If you are an athlete contemplating your 2016 goals and challenges, I urge you to consider combining these activities with raising money to cure Alzheimer’s. I lost my grandmother and my mother to this disease and my Aunt is now struggling with it as well. My brother and I are currently planning to climb Mt Baker in 2016 to raise money for CureAlzheimer’s. This mountain, out in the Northern Cascades in Washington state stands 10,781 feet tall so our fundraising goal will be $10,781. If you would like to raise money through your active efforts this year or simply donate to our efforts, please click HERE