Yesterday, my husband and I participated in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Punta Gorda, FL. We were joined by my friend in the picture above, who is 52 and has dementia, as well as several friends and family member who came to support us. It was a nice day, and I made some good contacts within the Alzheimer’s Association. The Charlotte Sun newspaper interviewed me during the walk and the article was published today.
Do we look like people you would think of having dementia or Alzheimers? Of course we don’t. When we think of these diseases we think of older seniors, not people who do not even qualify for social security yet. When you go to the Post Office and ask to purchase the Alzheimer’s stamp they have a beautiful older woman on them. I think we need to change the face of Alzheimer’s. Just a few moments ago before I sat down to write this post, I read a story about a 56 year old woman who was vivacious and had everything going for her. Within 6 years she had withered away to nothing…..a senseless victim of Alzheimer’s. I am in tears as I am writing this……..I am angry, scared and afraid. I don’t want to die of this in the next 10 years, I don’t want to be a burden to my husband, and I don’t want to pass this on to my children.
The number of people they expect to have Alzheimer’s by 2050 is expected to triple and the U.S. is forecasting that Alzheimer’s will cost U.S. citizens over a trillion dollars by then. One in every nine baby boomers are expected to have it. I just went to my first Early Onset Alzheimer’s meeting in September in Florida (before season when it really gets busy here) and there were 15 of us under the age of 65 in the room. It was shocking! Also, there are 10 diseases that are responsible for the deaths of the majority of people in the world, and Alzheimer’s is one of them. It is the ONLY one that has no known cure, or medication that is effective at slowing down the progression.
The only way to address this is by additional funding by corporations, Governments and non-profit organizations. Big Pharma has no interest in finding a cure for us. It is not in their best interest to do so…..they want us to keep taking their medications. That is why I have been doing my own research and trying to get on a pathway to outstanding health in an effort to slow down the progression of this disease. See my Alzheimer’s Plan of Attack. As difficult as it is for people like me who get this disease early in life, I think it is imperative for them to come forward and share their stories. We need to change the face of Alzheimer’s. If more people see younger people getting it, I am convinced we would get additional funding for it. We have to advocate, advocate, advocate.
I am going to dedicate my life to try to change the face of Alzheimer’s and raise funds for a cure. Please join me….either by volunteering or donating. Praying for a cure in MY lifetime!