Project 8000 for Alzheimer's:
Memories Are Everything®
Raising Funds and Awareness for Alzheimer’s

Alan Arnette is an Alzheimer's advocate for individuals, their families and anyone impacted by this disease through his professional speaking, climbing and website.

His objectives for the Memories are Everything® climbs are:
  • Educate the public, especially youth, on the early warning signs and how to prepare
  • Increase awareness that Alzheimer's Disease has no cure
  • Raise research money for Alzheimer's non-profits
His projects include:

Over $275,000 raised for Alzheimer's non-profits and
50 million people reached through his climbs

100% of all donations go to Alzheimer's, none ever to Alan
Donate to Alzheimer's • NO CURE, always Fatal
• No easy, inexpensive method of early detection
• 3rd leading cause of death in the US
• New case every 68 seconds, 4 seconds worldwide
• Impacts more than 5+m in US, 25m+ worldwide
• Devastating financial burden on families
• Depression higher for caregivers
• Issues are increasing rapidly as population ages

Donate to Alzheimers
None of the donations go to Alan
or climbing expenses.


Project 8000 for Alzheimer's

The fight to find a cure for Alzheimer’s needs our unified support, caregivers need more help than ever. I am driven by the intersection of purpose and passion thus with great excitement I want to share the details of Project 8000 for Alzheimer’s where over the next 5 years I will attempt the 11 remaining mountains above 8000 meters that I haven’t summited.

Background

I saw first hand what Alzheimer’s does to individuals and families when I lost my mom, Ida, and two aunts (my mom’s sisters) to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in 2009. The more I learned about AD, the more helpless I felt. Now seven years later, 2016, there is still no reliable means of diagnoses, no way of stopping it once a person has it and Alzheimer’s is 100% fatal – this is totally unacceptable in 2016.

That experience moved me to redefine my life’s purpose to become an Alzheimer’s Advocate using my passion of mountain climbing as the method to reach people.

My Memories are Everything ™ climbs have reached 50 million people with a message of hope, need and urgency around AD. Through your generosity, we have raised over $275,000 that went 100% to Alzheimer’s non-profits, including the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund who uses the funds exclusively for research. Other non profits that have benefited included the Alzheimer’s Association, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and the Caregivers Action Network.

Thanks to these organizations and others, progress has been made in understanding Alzheimer’s yet due to lack of money, not ideas, a cure remains elusive. Meanwhile every 4 seconds, another family in the world begins the same fatal journey my family did with my mom.

Climbing and Alzheimer's

It is with this urgency, I remain committed to making a difference. While climbing is an unusual method to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, I have been able to reach an audience not usually touched by many Alzheimer’s non-profits. These include youth and young adults who are usually forgotten as caregivers. My partners have asked me to continue my efforts as it compliments their own.

I have 2 million followers of this website (alanarnette.com) and over 20,000 followers on Social Media. Using the attention from my climbing, I respectfully educate my followers on Alzheimer's and raise funds for research. No funds ever go to me personally.

Project 8000 for Alzheimer’s

There are 14 mountains above 8000 meters or 26,246 feet. As of early 2016, only 34 people have summited all 14, including only one American, Ed Viesturs (note: Ed did them all without supplemental oxygen and on private climbs, nothing like me at age 60). I will attempt to summit them from today to 2020.

With my summits of Everest, K2 and Manaslu and good efforts on Shishapangma, Broad Peak and Cho Oyu, I feel well prepared to attempt these 11 mountains and optimistic we can reach the $5M goal for Alzheimer’s research.

My objectives for each climb include: safety, cause results, and climb success. To minimize costs, I will try to organize the climbs leveraging logistics from local organizations. Each climb will be conducted in small, safe teams utilizing proven Sherpa support, hopefully including Kami Sherpa whom I summited both Everest and K2 with in 2011 and 2014.

As the 18th and oldest American to summit K2, I attracted world-wide attention, reached 5 million people and raised $70K in just 6 weeks. The Cure Alzheimer’s Fund said this was one of “most successful campaign ever” of its type. This combined with my 7 Summits campaign in 2011 that reached 30 million people, validated my model of using climbing to raise awareness and critically needed funds.

Sponsor Opportunities

I am seeking sponsors for Project 8000. The expenses are modest when spread over five years, but the public relations need is large. As a business investment, the project has a positive ROI for any sponsor.

Ideally, one company will see the opportunity and support the entire project but individual climbs are still available to reduce the size of the investment. With the proper PR backing, I believe we can conservatively reach 100 million people. Using my website and social media, I can document a strong connection with my followers resulting in over 2.5 million annual interactions.

I want to thank Abila, Altitude Junkies, Banner Health, Cure Alzheimer's Fund, Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, Madison Mountaineering and UsAgainstAlzheimer's for their support on previous campaigns.

Please contact me for overall budgets and marketing opportunities.

Status

For now, the project is on hold pending sponsors. If you are interested in joining me or supporting the project, please contact me today.

My first climb was in April/May 2015 of Lhotse, the world’s 4th highest but it was cut short with no summit after tragic earthquake in Nepal so I will have to return another time.

Next Steps

I believe I can be used as living proof that if we live an active life, fully engaged, we can do amazing activities as we age. Please remember I am living with the fact that my mom and two aunts have died from Alzheimer’s and I may very well have the gene.

I hope you are as excited about Project 8000 as I am. I strongly believe we will raise awareness for Alzheimer’s but more importantly fund the search for a cure.

Read more about the 8000 meter mountains

Campaign Support

7 Summits Climb for Alzheimer's

Opportunities Available NOW


Climbing Support

Project 8000 oxygen mask, regulator and bottles generously provided by Summit Oxygen

Summit Oxygen

Alzheimer's Resources

The following websites have information for you, your family and caregivers to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and ongoing research:


Advocacy Affiliates

click for more information

The following companies donate a part of their sales to organizations that raise awareness and fund ongoing research:

 


Alzheimer's Benefactor

100% of your donations will go directly to your choice of these selected organizations. More to be added
None of the donations go to Alan or climbing expenses.


Cure Alzheimer's Fund

The Cure Alzheimer's Fund's mission is to fund research with the highest probability of preventing, slowing or reversing Alzheimer’s Disease through venture based philanthropy.

All organizational expenses are paid for by the Founders and Board, allowing 100% of other contributions to be applied directly to Alzheimer’s Disease research.


Fundraising

The goal is to raise $5 million dollars. Remember all donations go directly to Alzheimer's research and none to Alan or to support the climbs. Here is how you can help today:

  • Make a flat rate donation per summit, $100 for example
  • Make a one time donation for all the climbs anytime.
  • Host Alan for a local fund raiser where he will present the entire year of climbs with an engaging multimedia presentation.

Alan Arnette

Alan was born in Memphis, TN and now lives in Colorado. He took early retirement in 2007 after a 28 year career with Hewlett-Packard to oversee the care of his mom as she entered the final stages of Alzheimer's and his dad passed away about the same time. At HP, he served in various roles but mostly in General Management positions including a 5 year assignment in Europe. He started climbing late in life at age 38 with Mont Blanc as his first big peak but went on to gain skills and experience through climbing on some of the highest mountains in the world including on Everest, K2, Cho Oyu, Broad Peak, Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Denali and more.

Ida’s Story

The Warning Signs

Ida and Alan

We started noticing my mother's memories had slipped years ago. During the 2003 Christmas holiday, we went to a hotel for their famous brunch. As usual, we all got up to visit the buffet and indulge until we could no more. I noticed my Mom walking around aimlessly. As I went over to her, she seemed startled at my approach. "What do you want to eat?" I asked her gently. "Oh, you know; the usual," was her noncommittal answer.

In spite of this warning sign, she and my dad continued their independent life for several more years, refusing to give up their independence in spite of our begging. As her memory grew worse, she mastered the technique of the elusive "throw-away" answer. My dad supported her deception either by design or by necessity.

Sitting across the table from her during breakfast, we chatted intently about Dad being in the hospital. I had to keep reminding her that he was not well and it was serious. In the midst of this serious talk, she looked at me with clarity in her eyes and simply asked, "Now, who are you again?"

In 2009 my mom continued to decline. She had trouble feeding herself and doing other daily activities. She no longer recognized or remembered anyone, and she had significant trouble forming words or creating sentences. Her mind continued to be devastated by this disease. Not only was her memory gone but almost all of her identity.

That said, I could still get her to laugh a little with a small joke and even over the phone, I could feel her smile. So she was always in there somewhere.

On August 16, 2009, she passed away.

AlanWhat Could I Do?

As a result seeing the impact of Alzheimer's on my mother, it became clear that I had to do something. So after taking early retirement, I have dedicated my life to raising money for Alzheimer's disease through my climbing.

My dream is that researchers can find a way to stop or a cure for this killer of lives and robber of precious lifetime memories.

What Can You Do?

Please make a donation today. All donations go to the Alzheimer's and none to my climbing so please act today. You can also help with fund raising today.