Archives for November, 2013

Harvesting fresh produce and more

Keep Growing Detroit is one of my favorite good-news stories this year.

plum_field 2I’ve been following them since I first heard about their inspiring urban gardening project at TEDMED, and am delighted to see them harvesting great things from the seeds they’ve sown.

They’re not only growing produce to serve the people of Detroit. They’re strengthening communities and giving Detroiters new sources of income.

Read what I wrote about Keep Growing Detroit’s successful year at Eclectablog.

Take action to end Alzheimer’s

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month conclude at the end of November. But for people living with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones, there isn’t a day when the disease isn’t with them.

More than 5.2 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, costing the healthcare system $203 billion every year. A new case is diagnosed every 68 seconds. By 2050, the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple — and healthcare costs related to the disease could soar to $1.2 trillion by then.

Proud Supporter BadgeAlzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. It’s the most common, yet severe, form of dementia. And it’s devastating and incurable. But organizations like Banner Alzheimer’s Institute (BAI) are working to change all that.

BAI is dedicated to ending Alzheimer’s without losing another generation. That’s why the organization created the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry, to help advance Alzheimer’s research focused on treatment and prevention at the earliest stage.

Here’s where people like you come in: Research can only be successful with the support of people willing to participate. Research studies require 10 to 20 times more people to enroll than are actually chosen, because of each study’s specific criteria. And there’s a critical shortage of participants.

Joining the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry doesn’t oblige you to participate in a research study. But it does make you part of an online community willing to learn and share information about the latest research initiatives. The only criteria for joining is that you be 18 years of age or older. I don’t have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, but I signed up.

It only takes a minute to join the registry, and you don’t have to provide any private health information. You’ll learn about Alzheimer’s, stay informed about research studies and get information about brain health. You can share what you learn with your networks — and, if you choose, apply to participate in research studies. You might be asked to answer a simple questionnaire, or be given the chance to enroll in studies involving brain scans or pharmaceutical trials. How much you want to be involved is entirely up to you.

But no matter what, you can make a difference by simply joining the Alzheimer’s Prevention Registry. You’ll be part of educating others about Alzheimer’s and expanding the reach of research — key steps forward in preventing Alzheimer’s disease from robbing future generations of their memories.

[Banner Alzheimer’s Institute is a nonprofit organization, but I was compensated for this post.]

Bringing Shakespeare to life in Detroit

ShakespeareNothing makes me happier than telling good-news stories — especially when they’re about Detroit. It’s even better when one of these stories also happens to be about a friend.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sam White, the founder and artistic director of Shakespeare in Detroit. What was once just a dream became a reality for one midsummer night in 2013, with a performance of Othello in Grand Circus Park. Now the company hopes to present three shows in Detroit in 2014, if they can reach their fundraising goal.

Read about the dream, and how you can help make it come true, in my post at Eclectablog.

Photo credit: Brian White

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