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Corgis race to join the fight against Alzheimer's Disease

Washington family is raising funds and awareness at Emerald Downs’ Corgi Races on July 14!

Danielle Motyka’s grandmother Mary always put others first, both in her job as a nurse, which she loved, and helping out in the community.

“When she retired, I thought she really deserved to do some of the travel and things she wanted to do,” Danielle says. “But when she got Alzheimer’s, it took away not only her ability to do those things but Grandpa’s as well because he became her full-time caregiver at the age of 80.”

They’re not alone. A recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association estimates 126,000 Washington residents are living with Alzheimer’s disease and a further 247,000 are unpaid family caregivers.

Locally, the association’s Washington chapter helps families in their journey with the disease by providing community education, care consultations, support groups and a 24-hour helpline staffed by Masters-level clinicians that operate 365 days a year.

Worldwide, the association is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research - including that at the University of Washington and Washington State University - and is committed to accelerating the global progress of new treatments, prevention and, ultimately, a cure.

Supporters like Motykas make that work possible.

Danielle’s grandmother lived with the disease for nine years before she passed in late 2023. The family leaned into the Alzheimer’s Association’s guidance and support during their journey and now want to ensure others know about available resources.

As part of the association’s Longest Day initiative, a year-long peer-to-peer fundraising campaign where participants can partake in various activities, Danielle and Aaron Motyka are joining Emerald Downs’ Amazon Corgi World Championship Races on July 14 with their dog Harrison.

“Grandma Mary loved our corgi, Harrison, and we loved making her smile and laugh when we brought him over. That’s why we are supporting The Longest Day via the corgi races at Emerald Downs,” Danielle says. “We can talk about the joy our pup brought to someone we loved very much and raise awareness and critical research funds so we can finally end this terrible disease.”

The corgi races feature eight heats with the winner going to the final. The 12 corgis who raise the most funds for the Alzheimer’s Association through The Longest Day automatically compete in the Alzheimer’s Association heat. Dogs for the other heats are chosen by random lottery.

Emerald Downs gets more than 300 entries for the limited spots. For more details on how to participate, volunteer or donate, email Janet Callahan, The Longest Day Manager - jacallahan@alz.org.

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