Letter to the Editor

 

  The Alzheimer’s Association estimates there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including over 500,000 here in Florida. I am one of those people.

I was honored to participate with 1,200 others from across the country in the 28th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. , where we appealed to Congress for action on Alzheimer’s disease.

I’m the fourth generation within my family to have Alzheimer’s disease. My great-grandmother, grandfather, and my mother all had Alzheimer’s. My wife’s grandmother had Alzheimer’s and my father had Vascular Dementia. As a result, I’ve been able to see first hand what dementia-related illnesses can do to a person. I also am very aware of what it will do to me, but I choose not to dwell on that. Instead, I choose to advocate on behalf of all those affected by Alzheimer’s disease by bringing awareness and education to the public. I do this for the individuals that will come after me in hopes that something will be discovered to stop the progression, prevent the disease and finally to be a cure.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 without a way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression.

Thank you to Spencer Orenstein, Legislative Assistant to Representative Jeff Miller for meeting with our delegation to discuss the Alzheimer’s crisis. We’re in great hopes that we can count on Representative Miller and his staff for their continued support.

It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025.

Brian LeBlanc, National Alzheimer’s Advocate with the Alabama / Florida Panhandle Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Alzheimer’s Association.

For any questions or concerns feel free to contact Jason Young at 205-379-8065 X8327, or myself at 205-379-8065 X8322. I will be out of the office Thursdays and Fridays, so contacting Jason will be best on those days.

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