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Dan Wheldon Partners with the Alzheimer’s Association to Promote Disease Awareness

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  Dan Wheldon, Indianapolis 500

Dan Wheldon Partners with the Alzheimer’s Association to Promote Disease Awareness

Andrew Herta
Bryan Herta Autosport
May 18, 2011


Dan Wheldon 2010 Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Dan Wheldon, 2005 Indianapolis 500 winner and IZOD IndyCar Series champion, announced today that he will team up with the Alzheimer’s Association at this year’s centennial race to raise awareness for the disease. Driving the #98 William Rast/aigo/Curb/Big Machine/Forsythe Solutions entry for Bryan Herta Autosport, Wheldon will don the logo of the Alzheimer’s Association as he hopes to educate the public about this “silent epidemic.”

“I’m honored to announce my partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association at the Indianapolis 500,” said Wheldon. “My mother was recently diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 55. You can imagine the impact this news has had on me and my family. This is a cause very dear to my heart and I hope that by teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Association, I can help raise awareness on the toll this devastating disease has on individuals with the disease and their families as well as how important early diagnosis is for this population.”

According to the 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and today as many as 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease. Every 69 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease and by mid-century someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds. That number is expected to climb to 16 million by mid-century without the discovery of disease modifying treatments that prevent, cure or slow disease progression.

“The Alzheimer’s Association is delighted to work with Dan Wheldon and Bryan Herta Autosport to raise awareness about the critical need for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Angela Geiger, Chief Strategy Officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “As Dan knows Alzheimer’s disease has a huge impact on the individual with the disease as well as family members, and the earlier Alzheimer’s is diagnosed the better prepared everyone is for the challenges they will face as the disease progresses.”

Memory loss that disrupts daily life is not a typical part of aging. To learn more about early detection and the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, visit alz.org.

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ABOUT WHELDON

Wheldon’s career thus far has been highlighted by “The Double” in 2005 when he won both the Indianapolis 500 and the IZOD IndyCar Series title. In fact, Wheldon’s record at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been nothing short of remarkable as he has finished in the top four five times in the last seven races with back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2009 and 2010. He has scored 15 victories, 42 podium finishes and 61 top-five results in a total of 131 career starts and has been a runner-up in the championship twice in addition to his 2005 title. He also found the time to add victory in the 2006 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona sports car race.

ABOUT ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. For more information, please visit alz.org, or call 800-272-3900.

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