Monday, April 4, 2011

Why I Serve

I just attended an Alzheimer's Association board meeting this weekend and was pleased to have the opportunity to hear from the board members why they serve on the board.  Most of the board members had personal experience with the disease and each stated their desire to end the disease.  One man whose father died this past year of Alzheimer's said that his 6 year old daughter had asked him why his father died and he explained the disease and what it is.  She replied to him, "Daddy, are you going to make sure no one else gets it?" He emotionally stated that is why he serves.  Everyone was very touched by the words of a six year old child who has experienced the loss of a family member from Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease and affects over 5.3 million in the U.S. today.  We think about the many elderly people with the disease but don't often consider the 200,000 plus who are in their 40s, 50s and early 60s.  I think about my mother who was such a lively, spirited person who taught me so much yet her life ended after a long battle with Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who is now in the end stages of the disease and has not known who we are for several years.  It is a terrible way for people to exist and too many families are struggling to provide caring and compassionate care for those they love who have Alzheimer's.

I encourage you to join us in the movement to end the disease.  So I ask you, "Are you going to make sure no one else gets it?"     

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