NFL Star Terrell Owens Receives Award for Raising Awareness About Alzheimer's

By Nicholas Ballasy | March 27, 2009 | 4:14 PM EDT

( - NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens was in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to receive the Alzheimer's Association's first “Young Champions Award” for raising awareness about the disease. 
ESPN recently reported that Owens does not plan on attending any voluntary workouts with his new team, the Buffalo Bills, but will return when he’s required to be there.
While speaking with at the Alzheimer’s Association gala, Owens said he did not think he would be in the nation's capital during the off-season, but he is honored to receive the award.
“I’m very honored with the award,” Owens told “You know, there are some very distinguished guests in the building tonight.”

“I’m very familiar with Maria Shriver, who has family members suffering from the disease, and so she’s been heavily involved with it,” said Owens. “Along with her, Leeza Gibbons and some people that are notable names that have devoted their time to do the same thing that we’re all trying to do, and that’s try to increase awareness and try to find a cure for the disease.”
The Alzheimer’s Association has reported that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. As of 2009, the association estimated there are as many as 5.3 million people living with the disease in the United States alone.
Concerning his interest in the Alzheimer’s Association, Owens said, “My involvement stems from my grandmother having the disease – being diagnosed in 1996. Ever since then, I’ve been a big part of educating, spreading the word, trying to increase funding, whatever the case may be to make people notice and be more aware of the disease.”
One of Owens’ key accomplishments with the association was in the 2003 NFL season when Owens developed an idea for donations to be made each time he scores a touchdown or makes a catch as a way to further raise public awareness of the disease.
Sharpie, the permanent marker company, agreed to donate $500 per catch or touchdown, and BEVsystems International agreed to donate $81 dollars per catch, reflective of T.O.’s number.