At A Woman’s Nation™ we work on the front lines of humanity to imagine a more conscious, caring and compassionate world. We work as women work – together. The global effort to wipe out the sixth leading cause of death is robust with countless heroes and leading organizations. The Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge doesn’t just imagine a world in which we all work together – we are building it. The Challenge works across aisles and understands that this global epidemic deserves a unified global adversary. There is no room for politics or egos – too much depends on our collaboration. Alzheimer’s disease attacks the whole person, the whole family, the whole community and the whole world. Our strategic partnerships build the backbone of this Challenge as we collectively and holistically tackle this mind-blowing disease.
The Women’s Alzheimer’s Challenge is built on a powerful legacy of working to defeat the devastating disease. What began as an unthinkable diagnosis of Maria Shriver’s father, Sargent Shriver in 2003, soon became a bestselling children’s book, “Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?” to help families explain this tragic loss to its youngest members. Soon after, Maria worked together with HBO to executive produce the Emmy award winning series “The Alzheimer’s Project”. In 2009, Maria testified in front of the Senate Committee on Aging alongside Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Newt Gingrich and helped pass the Alzheimer’s Project Plan. Then in 2010, Maria and A Woman’s Nation produced “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s” in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. This Report revealed for the first time the disproportionate impact Alzheimer’s disease has on women’s brains and women as caregivers. It was a game changer in how we understood the disease and those in impacted. Later that year, thousands of women joined Maria for her March to End Alzheimer’s in California. Maria Shriver and The Shriver Report inspired the Alzheimer’s Association to create the first-of-its-kind Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative where 100% of the proceeds support women’s brain research.
Understanding the power of mainstream media to reach millions of people, Maria built Tales of Alzheimer’s and Caregiving on Mariashriver.com, a vibrant online community for those dealing with Alzheimer’s and looking for a place to share their stories. In 2014, Maria Shriver served executive producer of Sony Classic Picture’s “Still Alice” and used that moment to talk about the misperception that this is just a disease that affects an aging population. The film soared from start-up, independent film to box-office hit and garnered an Academy Award. Motivated by the success of “Still Alice” and other films to reach a mainstream audience, Maria and A Woman’s Nation launched a global movement of women, Maria Shriver’s Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association in 2015. After proudly launching the Challenge, Maria and A Woman’s Nation realized that the true challenge would be to partner with organizations to create similar gender-based research funds and continue to mobilize a global community of empowered women. From a tragic diagnosis to a bold challenge, our twelve-year legacy propels us to the future.