KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and 6 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Ken Weathers is sharing his mission for ending the disease after his mother, Patsy, passed away due to complications with Alzheimer’s in December 2021.
“She was a very special lady,” Weathers said. “Very loving, very caring … silly—that’s probably where I get most of my humor from, it’s from my mom.”
Weathers said his mom was a teacher and educator most of her life while also raising him and his sisters in Georgia.
“She enjoyed teaching people, she enjoyed teaching kids, and I think that’s where I got my love for visiting schools and things like that,” Weathers said.
When she was diagnosed, he and his sisters, along with caregivers, worked to make sure she remained in her home, where she later passed.
After his mother passed, a former WATE 6 On Your Side co-worker of Weathers’ reached out and asked if he’d consider being part of Alzheimer’s awareness fundraising with the Alzheimer’s Association.
“It was definitely something I wanted to do, I was asked and didn’t hesitate because there is no cure for Alzheimer’s,” Weathers said. “They need money to do research, that’s where all this goes—it goes right back into funding for research to try to find a cure so that other people don’t have to go through what we had to go through.”
In Weathers’ Alzheimer’s awareness fundraising team, the Solstice Starz, he’s aiming to raise around $6,000 and at last check, he was a little more than halfway there. The fundraiser runs through June 21, which is the longest day of the year.
“The Longest Day is the day of the year with the most light—the summer solstice. It’s the day I have committed to fight Alzheimer’s disease,” Weathers shares on the fundraiser page. “I’m participating in The Longest Day, a fundraising event to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, some 50 million people around the world are currently living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, including more than 6 million Americans. In the United States alone, more than 11 million friends and family members are providing their care.
Throughout June, the Alzheimer’s Association is inviting people to participate in The Longest Day® on June 21. The event is held annually on the summer solstice and The Longest Day invites participants to fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through a fundraising activity of their choice.
The Alzheimer’s Association is an international voluntary health group dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month was established by the organization in 2014.