SOURCE: Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter

Alzheimer's Association MA/NH Chapter

June 03, 2009 15:54 ET

Ted Johnson Champions Memory Ride for Alzheimer's Research

July 25 Memory Ride Covers Miles, Brings Hope

WATERTOWN, MA--(Marketwire - June 3, 2009) - Patriots' star Ted Johnson will join hundreds of cyclists for Memory Ride on Saturday, July 25. The three-time Super Bowl champion has been in the limelight recently with news that he will donate his brain to science. Now, he will be riding to raise awareness about the degenerative, fatal brain disease that affects some 5.3 million Americans.

Memory Ride benefits the Alzheimer's Association research efforts in finding causes, treatments and cures for Alzheimer's. The concussive injuries suffered by Johnson during his 10 year NFL career put him at greater risk for Alzheimer's.

Memory Ride has been steadily growing as a major Massachusetts cycling/fund-raising event, offering 125, 100, 62 and 25 mile routes that start and end in Devens. Riders, which this year include Ted Johnson and Patriot teammate Max Lane, raise money to fight Alzheimer's. The disease strikes every 70 seconds, according to the latest findings of the Alzheimer's Association.

"We are so pleased that Ted Johnson is championing Memory Ride," said James Wessler, President/CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. "This disease is tremendously difficult for the people affected and for their families. We're hoping that the ride not only raises much needed money for research but also raises public awareness and understanding."

Memory Ride grew from a small, family-inspired event to a cycling challenge attracting riders from throughout New England, and beyond. Starting and finishing in Devens, the ride loops through the low rolling hills and country vistas of the Commonwealth's heartland.

Approximately 120,000 people in Massachusetts have Alzheimer's. It is a disease that has significant impact on families -- emotionally, physically and financially. Although those over age 65 are at greater risk, it can strike someone as young as 35 or 40. The younger-onset version of Alzheimer's was recently documented in "Still Alice," the bestselling novel by Massachusetts author Lisa Genova. The book's success, along with support from celebrities like Ted Johnson, is having an impact.

"We are seeing significant increases in the number of people calling our 24/7 Helpline and seeking our services," Wessler said. "We want people to reach out for information. An early diagnosis makes a significant difference in the course of the disease because there are treatments and lifestyle changes that will slow the progression of the symptoms."

The Alzheimer's Association is offering training and cycling information for casual riders and serious cyclists. Riders and volunteers can sign up at www.memoryride.org.

The Alzheimer's Association, with headquarters in Watertown, has regional offices in Springfield, Raynham, and Worcester, MA and Bedford and Lebanon, NH. They provide services and programs for those with the Alzheimer's or a related dementia, and family and professional caregivers in the form of support groups, a 24/7 Helpline, care consultation, advocacy efforts, research funding and education programs.

Contact Information

  • For More Information:
    Betsy Fitzgerald-Campbell
    VP of Communications & Public Affairs
    Alzheimer's Association
    Email Contact
    617.868.6718 O