Arrow pointing down
Tony Gonzales Julia Wallace

A Letter From Our 2024 AIM Advocacy Forum Co-Chairs

Dear Advocates:

The fight to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia is very personal for us.

I’m Tony Gonzales, a 49-year-old living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in Santa Maria, California. This disease does not define who I am. I am living my best life with MCI, and using every opportunity to share my story as my way of fighting back. I became a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Early Stage Advisory Group to help raise awareness of this disease — especially for people who are under the age of 65 and not typically the “face” of Alzheimer’s disease. When I’m in a meeting and someone tells me they’ve never met someone living with Alzheimer’s disease, I say to them “now you have.” I want people to see the impact this disease has on real people and families.

I’m Julia Wallace, and I know the impact of dementia on families. My grandmother Ethel died of Alzheimer’s over 30 years ago. When my mother Eleanor was diagnosed with the disease 15 years later, I was stunned by the lack of progress. I joined my local Alzheimer’s Association board, wanting to make a difference. I then served eight years on the national governing board. My husband and I went to our first AIM Advocacy Forum in 2013 and saw firsthand the power of this movement. We became members of the AIM Leadership Society. It’s the best investment we ever made.

It is truly a momentous time for our cause. In July 2023, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the first traditional approval of an Alzheimer’s treatment that changes the underlying course of the disease. Last year we rallied for access to these treatments and advocated for policies to help those living with dementia.

Newly approved treatments along with advances in dementia care and support are making a difference for people impacted by this disease. We have achieved policy successes because of the work of you, our relentless advocates. But our work is not done. To build on this progress, we need to continue raising awareness among our elected officials so Congress renews our nation’s commitment to the fight against Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

The Advocacy Forum is a critical part of our year-round policy efforts. This event, like others we’ve attended, promises to motivate and inspire, with so many passionate individuals brought together in the fight against this devastating disease.

We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C., as we work to advance policies that will make an impact and help us achieve our vision of a world without Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.

Tony Gonzales
2024 AIM Advocacy Forum Co-Chair

Julia Wallace
2024 AIM Advocacy Forum Co-Chair

Join the conversation #ENDALZ #alzforum

Contact Us

General information
Phone: 312.335.5833

Annetha Hall
Phone: 202.638.8665

AIM information
Phone: 202.638.8671

News media
Phone: 312.335.4078