This weekend is the Alzheimer’s Association’s longest day event.
It coincides with June 20th being the summer solstice, the day of the year with the most sunlight, and the association wants to shed more light on Alzheimer’s — an irreversible and progressive brain disorder.
Every day in this country there’s people walking, riding a bike, or some other means of transportation, traveling across the terrain, raising funds or awareness.
Kevin Lockwood is taking a 320-mile bike ride across Pennsylvania.
Friday, he stopped in Centre County. After a seven-year struggle, Lockwood lost his mother to Alzheimer’s in 2014.
“And I realized the genetic connection between my mother and me, the fact that I could get Alzheimer’s,” Lockwood said. “So, there’s a sincere desire to help out.”
Kevin says the bike ride gives him a time to think on his own while meeting others talking about a subject, many often find difficult to discuss.
Plus, there’s the pandemic impact Alzheimer’s and brain dementia deaths increased more than 15 percent in the past year.
“To be able to recognize we have lives touched by the pandemic that for 15 months, we were cooped up and it was especially hard for those people dealing with Alzheimer’s because they had fewer outlets to find some kind of respite in that day to day care,” explained Lockwood.
In Pennsylvania, alone, there’s more than 280,000 people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Kevin has another two or three days on his bike until reaching his destination in Pittsburgh.