After losing multiple family members to Alzheimer’s, Tennessee woman bakes for ‘The Longest Day’ to raise awareness

Tennessee News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — People around the world are raising awareness and funds to advance Alzheimer’s Association care, support and research programs.

Saturday was a day of action, called “The Longest Day,” held on the day with the most light to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s.

Many advocates are spending the Saturday raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research. For Denise Gerlach, this day is personal.

“I lost my mom to Alzheimer’s in 2003. She suffered with it for 10 years. My dad was her caregiver and it’s heartbreaking. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch someone you love just fade away and not know who you are anymore.” Gerlach said.

Alzheimer’s also claimed her grandmother’s life, her uncle and two of her aunts. In honor of her mother and other relatives who lost their battle to Alzheimer’s, Denise used the 16 hours of sunlight to bake some of her mother’s favorite sweet treats, sharing them online.

“My mom had a big sweet tooth so we’re using a lot of her recipes.” Gerlach said.

Denise says sharing these recipes helps her connect with people across the country who have been through the same thing.

“The most amazing thing, I’ve had so many wonderful people reach out to me. I have this special feeling that when I put the word out and other people who have gone through it have given me support and encouragement and I’m trying to pay that back to others as well.” Gerlach said.

Denise’s recipes can be found here.

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