Humans of Dementia contest highlights impact of disease

Asia Brody / Danielle Towers / Courtesy Hilarity for Charity

Photo by Asia Brody of her dad; Photo by Danielle Towers of her grandmother

How to honor the stories of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease? This is the question at the heart of the Humans of Dementia storytelling competition, which highlights the individual impact of a disease that affects approximately 6 million Americans today.

The 2021 competition, co-sponsored by AARP in partnership with the national nonprofit Hilarity for Charity (HFC), invited high school and middle school students from across the country to submit essays and photographs that highlight light the experiences of loved ones who are living with or have died from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. HFC was founded in 2012 by actor Seth Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller Rogen, to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and support prevention and research efforts related to the disease.

“The winning entries show the power of intergenerational relationships,” says Sarah Lenz Lock, senior vice president of policy at AARP. “Good journalism can make the essence of a person’s life shine for others to see, even when that person’s memories start to fade.”

Read excerpts from this year’s award-winning essays and photographs below, or visit the HFC website for more stories.

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