Coast-to-Coast Solo Run to Cure Alzheimer’s

Posted: May 11, 2011

Distance Runner to Raise Awareness, Research Funding for Alzheimer’s on 3,300-Mile Journey from Oregon to Rhode Island

Seaside, Oregon – Setting out on a 3,300-mile run from Seaside, Ore., to Westerly, R.I. to raise money and public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, veteran distance runner and advocate Glenn Caffery compares the rigors of long distance running to the challenges facing 5.2 million Americans and their families who are dealing with the debilitating disease.

“The extreme mental and physical challenges of a coast-to-coast solo run pale next to the everyday demands faced by those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers,” said Caffery, a veteran distance runner who watched his father suffer from Alzheimer’s until his death. Both are long and difficult journeys, both deeply personal yet dependent on the support of others, but these similarities are mostly superficial. Alzheimer’s disease shatters those qualities and relationships we cherish most in ourselves and in our loved ones. There is no comparing the two.

All of the money Caffery raises on his cross country run – Cure Alzheimer’s Run - will go to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund™, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising money for targeted research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer’s disease. To support Caffery in raising funds for Cure Alzheimer’s Fund please visit http://curealz.org/donate/.

“Research is the key to better understanding Alzheimer’s disease and Glenn Caffery’s fundraising efforts will not only provide critical support for research, but also will bring attention to the impact Alzheimer’s has on people with this devastating disease and their families,” said Tim Armour, President of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. “We applaud Glenn and wish him luck on this incredible challenge, and thank him for his support for Alzheimer’s research.”

Caffery’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 55 in 1989 and died 13 years later. An accomplished distance runner, Caffery, a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, decided to do this run in his father’s memory and to raise money for research for better treatments and a cure. You can follow Caffery’s progress at http://alzrun.org/ .

“I often think that if people really knew the full costs of Alzheimer’s—all the money, yes, but much more importantly all the pain and the loss of those things we most treasure as humans—there would be so much more funding for research,” said Caffery, 49. “I saw the devastating impact it had on my father and my family. Unfortunately, there was little medicine could do for him. However, recently there have been exciting advances in Alzheimer’s research and I hope the money raised on my run can help move that important work forward.”

Caffery will begin his run in Seaside, Oregon on May 18, 2011. He plans to cover about 50 miles per day and hopes to finish in Westerly, Rhode Island in late July. Caffery will be running with no support, using only a jog stroller for supplies and staying with friends or people he meets along the way.

Due to a history of an arthritic hip, he plans to run the more than 3,300 miles using a technique called “minimalist running.” This style of running involves one’s feet striking the ground at your midfoot rather than your heel, putting less stress on your hips.

Among the key stops Caffery will be making along his coast-to-coast run are:

• Minneapolis in late June to visit his daughter Celia and cross the Mississippi river
• Ann Arbor, Mich., in mid July to visit his daughter Emily
• Wallingford, Conn., in late July to visit his mother

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Cure Alzheimer's FundTM is a public charity established to provide funding for targeted research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Cure Alzheimer's Fund supports and funds research with the highest probability of slowing, stopping or reversing Alzheimer's disease by 2016. For more information please visit http://www.curealz.org/