I'm often asked why I became an advocate to end Alzheimer's.
My father died from the disease in 2015 at age 79. A voracious reader and brilliant musician who loved politics, my father was the biggest presence in my life. As his primary caregiver for the five years he lived with Alzheimer's, I saw him change moment by moment, day by day; my advocate torch was lit the night I had to say goodbye to him. Two months later, I joined the Walk to End Alzheimer's® in my community and later became an Alzheimer's Association Ambassador. I've never looked back, and my goal is to help prevent others from going through the horror of this disease. I know it's yours as well.
With newly approved treaments — and more on the horizon — along with historic increases in federal Alzheimer's research funding, now is a great time to be enthusiastic about the future. But to build on this momentum, we need to remain vigilant and continue raising awareness among our elected officials about the importance of our cause. We must do more so that they do more.
The 2023 Alzheimer's Impact Movement (AIM) Advocacy Forum will be my sixth, and I'm honored to serve as this year's chair. The Advocacy Forum is a vital part of our year-round policy efforts. The events I'm attended have been inspiring, with so many passionate, purposeful, like-minded individuals engaged in the fight against this devastating disease.
This cause has my voice until we end Alzheimer's, and I have a story to tell. I hope the Advocacy Forum inspires you to share yours and makes you more determined than ever to urge Congress to continue to make Alzheimer's a national priority.
2023 AIM Advocacy Forum Chair