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Local News
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Local (and some National) News Highlights

 

March 17, 2014

Local high school senior, Michael Kamer, shares his experience with Alzheimer's
Recently, Michael Kamer, Lexington area high school senior and son of Board of Directors member Mauritia Kamer, completed his college applications. When asked by the College of William & Mary "Beyond your impressive academic credentials and extracurricular accomplishments, what else makes you unique and colorful?", Michael responded with the eloguent and moving story of his experiences with Alzheimer's.

The woman who sits silently in the corner working on what appears to be a finger painting by a kindergartner is actually an accomplished amateur artist who singlehandedly grew the family business into a national firm after the unexpected early death of her husband.  Now she does not know her own name and cannot stay by herself in her own home.  When I volunteer at the Best Friends Day Center that provides care for people with Alzheimer’s Disease, I am the youngest person in the room by many decades. Initially, the Center’s staff was hesitant to let me volunteer because I was only fourteen years old.  However, by that time I was a veteran at dealing with Alzheimer’s following my grandmother’s diagnosis four years earlier. As a result of my grandmother’s experience with Alzheimer’s, I am able to see the people at Best Friends as they were, not as they are now.
 
Alzheimer’s has impacted my entire family.  With my grandmother, I saw a woman who grew up in poverty and found her salvation in education.  Through a combination of hard work and intelligence, she was able to earn a master’s degree.  My love of learning comes from her guiding influence.  My grandmother also knew how to be silly with her grandchildren, encouraging me to act like a kid despite my serious nature. When she was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, she forgot ordinary words like articles of clothing or food items when they were placed in front of her. At the end of her life, she was able to speak only gibberish. Her frustration at being unable to communicate was palpable. My parents and other family members taught me how to treat others with dignity and respect.  In particular, my grandfather’s devotion to her was inspiring.
 
An important lesson I have learned from my grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer’s is that people should not lose their value in our society just because their capabilities are diminished.  Alzheimer’s is a disease that still carries with it a sense of stigma and shame for many families.  We need to learn to get past these unproductive emotions.  My generation is faced with the challenge of caring for the staggering number of people projected to be living with Alzheimer’s when we are the adults responsible for ensuring their care.
 
Working with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s has taught me humility.  There is nothing like losing at a game of Scrabble with a former university English professor to appreciate how much she still has to offer. Volunteering at Best Friends has made clear to me the Jewish saying from The Talmud, “Respect the old man who has forgotten what he learned. For broken Tablets have a place in the Ark beside the Tablets of the Law.”   The tablet of my grandmother is imprinted on my future.
-- T. Shirk

February 10, 2014
Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter honored at Leadership Conference
Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapters efforts were recognized in numerous ways during the Alzheimer’s Association’s annual Leadership Summit and Walk Conference. The list includes: Walk Team Retention- 3rd highest retention rate in the country, asked to present to our peers,  Walk Growth-4th highest dollar growth in the country during the 2013 season, Early Stage & Physician Outreach-Asked to present to our peers based on successful program delivery, Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy for visits to Congress. Teri Shirk expressed how proud she was of this recognition by our peers and the National offices of the Alzheimer's Association.
-- T. Shirk

February 4, 2014
Lexington, KY's Reason to Hope Breakfast a great success!
Lexington’s Reason to hope Breakfast had 79 guests in the room, excluding the table hosts and the staff. Of that, 72 guests who had not previously been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association, learned more about our mission and were given an opportunity to support the cause. The goal was to raise $10,000 – the preliminary count is $21,000 including sponsorship and there are still a few pledge cards to be mailed back or collected. This is phenomenal: we could not be more pleased.
-- D. Esslinger

January 28, 2014
Thanks to Kentucky, Indiana lawmakers who upped Alzheimer's funding  
At the urging of the Alzheimer's Association and more than 600,000 advocates who called, sent postcards and visited their legislators, Congress passed and the president signed into law a fiscal 2014 funding bill.
-- KyForward

January 17, 2014
Record $122 million increase for Alzgeimer's disease passed by Congress, sent to president
An unprecedented $122 million increase for Alzheimer's research, education, outreach and caregiver support stemming from the efforts of Alzheimer's Association advocates was passed swiftly by Congress today. The Association commends the bipartisan work of our elected officials to make Alzheimer's disease a national priority.
-- alz.org 
 
January 8, 2014
Sharon Thompson: Recommendations for healthier eating in 2014
The Alzheimer's Association is recommending that consumers consider a brain-healthy diet as part of their New Year's resolutions.
-- Kentucky.com

January 5, 2014
Memory Café helps patients, caregivers deal with dementia
Founding the Memory Café group for Alzheimers patients, no one knew what the response would be. 50 people attended the first meeting, and a steady following has validated the need for fellowship between patients and caretakers.
-- The Courier-Journal

 

 





 

Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.