June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month, and this week, June 15-20, the Iowa chapter of the Alzheimer's Association is asking Iowans to "go purple". Local businesses, attractions and individuals can support the cause in a variety of ways, laid out in a press release received by e-mail.

  • Wear purple
  • Light your home or building in purple (as Alliant Energy and United Fire Group in Cedar Rapids have said they plan to do)
  • Display purple flowers. They encourage cut-out purple flowers to display in windows but real purple flowers could add the benefit of sprucing up your home while supporting the cause.
  • Share your purple on social media- "Choose which purple activities you want to participate in then take pictures, share them on social media and tag @alziowa and #ENDALZ to turn Facebook, Instagram and Twitter purple too."

On June 20, the culmination of "go purple week" is "The Longest Day". A variety of activities are offered the day to conclude the week. Given the environment we're in this year a lot of these activities have gone virtual or socially distanced, through biking, hiking, playing bridge, knitting and more, all in an effort to shine a light on the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and the more than 16 million family members and friends providing care and support. Together, participants will use their creativity and passion to raise critical funds and awareness to advance Alzheimer’s Association care, support, and research programs.

Volunteer Amanda Pins will host such an event in Cedar Rapids this Friday. Through "Bikes Behind Brains", cyclists can choose from 1 of 6 routes to practice social distancing, donate and win prizes to help fight Alzheimer's disease on "The Longest Day". Learn more, donate, or set up your fundraising campaign here.

Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and in Iowa alone there are more than 66,000 people living with Alzheimer’s with more than 136,000 strong and courageous family members and friends caring for them.

It's easy for all to "go purple" this week to raise awareness of this serious issue.