Pharmacies rally for Alzheimer’s awareness

Published 8:32 am Friday, July 8, 2016

Sterling is set to donate over $10,600 to the Alzheimer’s Association and its efforts to enhance care and support for all those affected by Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Sterling,  and community pharmacies based in a number of small towns throughout Minnesota and northern Iowa, sold $1, $3 and $5 pin-ups throughout the month of June while handing out informational fliers that encouraged customers and patients to learn about the Alzheimer’s disease and brain health.

In total, the Sterling stores sold 7,824 pin-ups to customers and patients looking to give a helping hand to the cause. Beyond its monetary donation, Sterling Albert Lea also delivered bouquets to local memory care units.

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“For a week leading up to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Longest Day Event, we donated a carnation for every pin-up sold and created bouquets in our flower shop,” Shelia Jensen, store manager at Albert Lea’s Sterling said. “We are so grateful for everyone’s donations and wanted to add a little something ourselves. We hope our bouquets brightened up the days for residents and employees at the memory care units.”

As the nation strives to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, families and caregivers everywhere are learning to care for their loved ones and manage this devastating disease. Through personal experience and close relationships with Sterling patients and their families, the Sterling family of pharmacies quickly learned that Alzheimer’s Disease affects far more families than it spares. The passionate founder of Sterling, Leonard Astrup, struggled with Alzheimer’s Disease in his final years of life.

“Like most families, our family’s world has been strongly impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease — just two years after losing our grandpa, Leonard, to this horrible disease, my mom’s dad was also diagnosed,” Sterling pharmacist Jessica Astrup Ehret said. “Alzheimer’s Disease affects entire families and it is truly devastating to watch the minds of those you love slowly melt away.”

“Unfortunately, our family’s Alzheimer’s story is not unique — many of our employees, customers and friends have also been impacted by this devastating disease,” she said. “It was time for us to do our part to raise critical funds for Alzheimer’s Research — we dedicated the month of June to doing just that. Everyone at Sterling really got behind this initiative and the response from our communities was incredible! I was blown away with how our employees and communities worked together to exceed our fundraising goal for the month of June.”