Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 9, 2006

Ice Skating Stars Champion Cause of Alzheimer's Disease
Special Performance to Support Alzheimer's Foundation of America

WHAT:
Several Olympians and world and national medalists will skate from their hearts to support the Alzheimer's Foundation of America and to raise awareness of the growing incidence of Alzheimer's disease. The ice skating event was set in motion by Morgan Matthews, an 18-year-old ice dancing champion who embraced the cause after her grandmother had the disease; her involvement extends beyond this one event.

Headlining the show will be Matthews of Fairfax, VA and her partner, Maxim Zavozin of Ashburn, VA, 2005 junior world champions who were named yesterday to compete at the 2006 World Figure Skating Championships. Also starring will be Timothy Goebel, a 2002 Olympic bronze medalist; Michael Weiss, a two-time Olympian and two-time world medalist; Ryan Jahnke, a seven-time national medalist; and Amber Corwin, a national medalist from Hermosa Beach, CA who has two grandparents diagnosed with dementia.

WHEN: Sunday, March 12, 2006
Approximately 6 p.m. (following 3 p.m. Washington Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators ice hockey game)

WHERE: Verizon Center, 601 F Street, NW, Washington, DC

WHY:

  • Alzheimer's disease, which results in loss of memory, confusion and other intellectual decline, affects an estimated five million Americans, including one in ten aged 65 and older . The incidence is expected to triple by mid-century.
  • An estimated one to four caregivers care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, mostly at home. “Our hope is that the compassion demonstrated by these young athletes serves as a wakeup call to others—that people with Alzheimer's disease, whether loved ones or strangers, deserve the best in care,” said Eric J. Hall, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
  • Teenagers, sandwiched between caregiving parents and older relatives with the disease, are often forgotten “victims” of Alzheimer's disease. More than one million children in the U.S., aged 8 to 18, take care of sick or disabled relatives, with Alzheimer's disease ranking as the most common disease among those they care for.
  • Ice dancer Morgan Matthews recently joined the advisory board of AFA Teens for Alzheimer's Awareness, a division of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America that educates and supports teenagers and engages them in the cause. And she began spreading the word in the ice skating community, encouraging her peers to join her in the special fundraising performance sanctioned by the United States Figure Skating Association.
The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is headquartered in New York and is made up of hundreds of member organizations that provide hands-on programs to meet the educational, emotional, practical and social needs of families. AFA's services include a toll-free hotline, counseling, educational materials, local resources, and a free caregiver magazine. For information, call (toll-free) 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org or www.afateens.org .

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 866-AFA-8484