Letter: The fight against Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, today there are an estimated 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, including as many as 130,000 right here in Virginia. This will likely grow to 160,000 by 2025, if we don’t do all we can to stop the disease today. More than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 each day and age is one of the greatest known risk factors for the disease.

My husband and I know this disease well. We have three out of four parents who are struggling with, or have died from, some form of dementia. We have been on the front lines of Alzheimer’s for 17 years.

Alzheimer’s is not a Republican or Democratic issue — it affects all of us. And this is why I was very encouraged when Congress signaled their recognition of this fact and unanimously passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) which spurred the creation of the first National Alzheimer’s Plan for the United States.

The Senate has prioritized the National Alzheimer’s Plan by including an additional $100 million for research, education, care and support. It is vitally important that Congress include these resources in the fiscal year 2014 budget.

We are at a critical juncture and now have a comprehensive roadmap and strategy for the first time to fight Alzheimer’s. But we need your help.

Please contact Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine today. Ask them to provide the funding necessary to support the National Alzheimer’s Plan through Alzheimer’s research, education, outreach and support activities.

Mary Anne Sterling, CEA
Co-founder, Connected Health Resources

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