I’m 63 years old, and I have Alzheimer’s disease.
My father was one of 13 children. He and four or five of his siblings died with symptoms of Alzheimer’s, which they all began showing in their 40’s. I am the fifth oldest of my cousins, and two are currently in the end stages of Alzheimer’s. For me there is no question that Alzheimer’s runs in the family.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Currently, 5.4 million Americans--including nearly 150,000 here in Washington State--are living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. Each of these individuals is being cared for by, on average, three caregivers, the vast majority of whom are unpaid. By 2050, these numbers will more than triple, and the overall annual cost of Alzheimer’s and other dementias to government, businesses, individuals, and families will exceed $1 trillion.
I am a warrior against Alzheimer’s. Most of my time is spent doing everything I can to find a cure or stop the progression of this devastating disease. I’m doing it partly for myself, but mostly for my children and grandchildren.
Since being diagnosed in 2010, I have been deeply involved with the Alzheimer’s Association. Currently, I serve on the Board of Directors of the Western and Central Washington State Chapter and the National Early Stage Advisory Group. I am a Peer-to-Peer Advisor and an Alzheimer’s Ambassador to Senator Patty Murray. I participate regularly in an early stage memory loss support group, and I’m involved in two ongoing research studies.
Please walk with me in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Before my diagnosis, I was an attorney, public defender, and President of the Skagit County Bar Association. I am a friend and former neighbor, and I am asking you to walk with me at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.Several have already happened, and there are several more to come. Our largest Walk is the Pacific Northwest Walk on Sunday, September 23, at South Lake Union Park in Seattle. KING 5 Sports Anchor Paul Silvi will be the emcee! Registration opens at 8:30 AM and the Walk begins at 10.
I believe there is no better time than now, no greater threats to the health of Washingtonians than Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, no better partners in this fight than the Alzheimer’s Association, and no one more worthy of your support than the individuals and families we serve.
Please join me as we gather as a community to stand up against Alzheimer’s disease. You can visit alzwa.org to get more information about Alzheimer’s and related dementias andour upcoming Walks.Start or join a team. I look forward to seeing you at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
With great appreciation,