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Shining a light on Alzheimer’s Disease through The Longest Day Campaign

Date: June 15th, 2022 in Community Outreach, Faculty, Geriatrics, JABSOM News    Print or PDF

Dr. Gina Fujikami holds a photo of her grandfather

Dr. Gina Fujikami (JABSOM MD 2008) recalls when she and her family found out that her grandfather had developed Alzheimer’s Disease. At the time, they did not know much about the disease in terms of diagnosis, treatment or its likely course– they literally felt “in the dark.” Now, as a geriatrician, Fuijkami proudly joins the national cause to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through The Longest Day campaign in honor of her grandfather and her patients.

The longest day of the year, also known as the summer solstice, occurs every June. This day with the most light is the inspiration behind the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual campaign, The Longest Day, which raises funds and awareness to advance the organization’s care, support and research efforts. June also marks Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

“The struggle to come to terms with losing your memories and independence is tough. We need to find better treatments and a cure for this disease. As our population ages, we will see an increased incidence of dementia,” said Fujikami, clinical associate professor in geriatrics at the University of Hawaiʻi John A. Burns School of Medicine (UH JABSOM).

Fujikami adds, “We also need more support for our caregivers. During the pandemic, there was understandably so much concern about children missing school but not as much on our seniors being socially isolated and their day centers being shut down, leaving families scrabbling for other options.”

Fujikami, a board member of the local chapter for the Alzheimer’s Association, is a 2022 purple ambassador for The Longest Day. She will be running 50 miles this month towards the cause. If you’d like to support her fundraising efforts, visit her page.

By Deborah Dimaya, Interim Communications Director

Dr. Gina Fujikami holds a photo of her grandfather

Dr. Gina Fujikami holds up a photo of her grandfather. Courtesy photo.

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