Samuel L. Jackson, who played Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, donned purple once again to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s research.
Samuel L. Jackson’s Star Wars character, Mace Windu, is best known for the purple-bladed lightsaber he carries. Now, Jackson is taking up the color purple once again, but for a less violent purpose than messing up droids and deflecting Force lightning: raising awareness of a mental struggle.
For purple-themed Alzheimer’s Awareness month, which is in June, Jackson and several other stars filmed a video in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association. In the video, Jackson recalls how when he was growing up, his grandfather showed signs of Alzheimer’s. Years later, Jackson’s mother exhibited those same signs.
The story Jackson tells about his mother’s struggle with the disease is especially saddening. One time his mother, who lived in Tennessee, left her oven on during a 100-degree day because she was “making cookies.” But when Jackson checked the oven, there were no cookies inside it. Still, the heat from the oven raised the temperature of the house to 130 degrees, hotter than the scorching summer afternoon.
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None of my family members have ever been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, thankfully. But it’s not hard to imagine how terrifying Jackson’s mother’s situation was. Alzheimer’s is a scary thing, for those diagnosed with it and those who are forced to watch their loved ones deteriorate. I doubt even the Force is much comfort, if such a disease exists in the galaxy far, far away.
But there is comfort to be found here on Earth. That’s why the Alzheimer’s Association is such an important cause. Not only does the group raise money for research into a cure for the disease, it also provides resources of information for the sick and their families and friends.
If you know someone who has Alzheimer’s or just want to help Jackson and ALZ in their Jedi-like quest to save lives, spread the word on social media with the hashtag #EndAlzheimers. You can also donate money to ALZ through their website, alz.org.