The 26th Advocacy Forum will be held by the Alzheimer’s Association in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 8, and 9. More than 800 advocates will be meeting with congressional offices on April 9.
I will be one of those passionate advocates. A while after my husband for 55 years had passed away from Alzheimer’s, I was approached by the Alzheimer’s Association and asked to be a part of a lobbying expedition to our California state capital to prevent the Alzheimer’s funding from being cut from the governor’s budget. I agreed and joined more than 350 other advocates in Sacramento at the Capitol. We all met for one-on-one conversations with our congressperson. Long story short: We were successful, and funding was not cut from the budget. Then I was asked to be ambassador to Lois Capps in San Luis Obispo to keep her office updated with Alzheimer’s information. I am still doing that, as well as being a facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Support Group in Arroyo Grande—the same one I used to attend while Bob and I battled his disease for more than six years. Now, this year, I will have the pleasure of attending the 2014 forum; my mantra is “end Alzheimer’s.”
I want to do whatever I can to bring about the funding necessary for the research necessary to find a cure to end this horrendous disease. It is the most costly disease of the top 10 leading causes of death—of which it is No. 6—and is the only one that has no cure, treatment, or way to slow it down. Every 67 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. And one in three seniors will die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia.
So it is imperative that you join this cause and contact your local representative. If you are in Lois Capps’ district, you can call her office at 546-8348 and urge her to make Alzheimer’s funding a national priority in 2014. Let’s end Alzheimer’s together.
-- Joan Bogle - San Luis Obispo