Back in 2006, I received a call from my friend Ami Simms who had an idea. Ami's Mom had Alzheimer's, one of approximately 5.4 million Americans suffer from this (currently) incurable disease. Ami wanted to do something about it.....need I say more? But there is so much more to tell.
Ami's idea to launch an exhibit to bring awareness about Alzheimer's grew into The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, a grassroots charity whose efforts have now raised more than $883,000. Those funds are directed to the original goal of raising awareness and a secondary goal of funding research, that grew from Ami's incredible vision and quilters everywhere who supported it.
Ami, the organization's Executive Director has just made a major announcement which you can read here. Sometime in 2013, it's likely the the $1,000,000 mark for Alzheimer's research will be reached. Given this accomplishment and with more than 13,000 quilts donated, this will be the last year of fund raising and we will celebrate it's success. Please read more about this remarkable organization and Ami's super human dedication at the link provided above.
So let's look back a bit. I was immediately on board when Ami called and volunteered to help. The 'little exhibit' Ami talked about grew into a major exhibit of 52 quilts - Alzheimer's - Forgetting Piece by Piece. It traveled for something like 5 or 6 years, after which most artists (myself included) donated their quilt for auction at AAQI. This exhibit also grew into a book and now a CD which can be purchased here.
Here's the quilt I made which was inspired by my own Mother's Alzheimer's. Even when her doctor gave her the diagnosis, she refused to accept the inevitable. Instead she told the doctor that "she didn't see any signs of this Alzheimer's that he was talking about, and when & if she did....she'd do something about it." Denial is very common with Alzheimer's patients (and yes even for some family members.) When my Mom experienced a noticeable memory problem....she'd declare......I'm having a brain cramp! Thus this quilt was born.....
Lost time.....enuff said!