Alzheimer’s Association statement on the passing of John J. O’Connor III
The Alzheimer’s Association extends its deepest sympathies to retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the entire O’Connor family on the passing of John J. O’Connor III on Wednesday, November 11, 2009. Mr. O’Connor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease nearly twenty years ago. In 2005, Justice O’Connor retired from the Supreme Court and courageously announced publicly that she needed to care for her husband who was deteriorating from Alzheimer’s.
Since 2005, Justice O’Connor and the O’Connor family have been powerful advocates for additional federal money to advance Alzheimer’s research. Justice O’Connor became a member of the Alzheimer’s Study Group along with Newt Gingrich and Bob Kerrey. Together this group played an instrumental role in examining the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in the United States and recommending to policy makers the critical steps that need to be taken to curb this crisis.
Currently there are as many as 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Alzheimer’s disease is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Researchers are closer than ever to developing accurate ways to diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s, but current Alzheimer funding is nowhere near enough to achieve this goal. Significantly increased federal funding for Alzheimer research, education and care is imperative to reach the goal of a world without Alzheimer’s.
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