Munching for Memory Raises Awareness for Alzheimer's Research

April 19, 2014

Hot dogs were inhaled left and right at UVa's Amphitheater on Saturday afternoon. For 10 minutes contestants ate as many hot dogs as they could, one guy ate a dozen.

But this wasn't just a pig-out session. Students were eating hot dogs to help out Hoos for Memory, a student organization that raises money for Alzheimer's research.

"Alzheimer's disease is very underfunded so putting on events like this is the only way that we are really going to raise awareness," says Lauren Goldberg, president of Hoos for Memory.

Goldberg's grandfather died four year ago from Alzheimer's and since then she has been working towards finding a cure for the disease and holding events like the hot dog eating contest to raise money for research.

"20 years from now we don't want Alzheimer's disease to be a huge issue anymore so that's why we are really glad we can put on events like this and bring everyone together for a good cause," explains Goldberg.

"Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the country and of the top 10 causes of death; it's the only one with no cure, no prevention and no way to slow it down," says Mary Pat Hanson, walk director for the Alzheimer's Association .

Also, women over the age of 60 are twice as likely to get Alzheimer's disease.

Hanson says she's happy younger people are getting involved in finding a cure because in the years to come, they could be the ones affected by the disease.

"This the generation that is going to deal with this disease if we don't find a cure," says Hanson. "So it's not only going to be their parents and grandparents, it's going to be their employers, it's going to be their co-workers, it's going to affect everybody, so it's wonderful that they have taken a stand to do something about it."

The disease does not only affect seniors, adults in their forties have also been diagnosed, but with money raised from events like this one, many are hoping to one day find a cure.

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