Last Night I was fortunate to to attend the kickoff to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s season, if you will. This walk, held this year on the morning of September 19th, is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Alzheimer’s Association, by far the largest advocacy group fighting to end this stinkin’ disease. My little walk team, “Never Gonna Give You Up”, has had several walkers the last couple years, but I really want to see it get big this year. I would also love to bring a large pile O’ bucks to them too. If you could join us in the walk in September, if you could provide a smidge of cash, or if you can do both, please click on this link and sign up. 🙂 If you haven’t been, you simply must come just to hear the stories. It is an amazing, emotional and fun time. 🙂
If you are local to driving or flying distance to Springfield, Mo. and have the evening of March 28th available, come join my table at the Mardi Gras-themed trivia night. It promises to be a really fun time and will raise money for our little team’s efforts.
I hate pestering people for money. I work 50+ hours a week and I have 3 kids and a wife….I get it. I really do. Fundraising can be annoying to you and to me both, but the more I study our little situation, the more I realize it will take a lot of money to get a cure…or even some better treatments. There are lots of potential causes and lots of types, so it will likely take multiple angles of treatment.
The AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s seemed to be a hopeless situation for many, many people and is a good model for rallying the troops to fight. Nearly 700,000 people have died of AIDS in the United States since its appearance, a truly tragic number. Today over 1 million people struggle with HIV, spending upwards of a half million dollars in treatments in their lifetimes. Today, though, the CDC gives a glimmer of light: “Since the height of the epidemic in the mid-1980s, the annual number of new HIV infections in the United States has been reduced by more than two-thirds, from roughly 130,000 in 1985 to approximately 50,000 in 2010. As a result of treatment advances since the late 1990s, the number of people living with HIV (HIV prevalence) has increased dramatically. ” Bottom line: It has taken hundreds of billions of dollars and a massive awareness effort to get us where we are in this disease (having a viable, life-extending treatment and falling numbers). Money well spent, mind you, but a lot of money. Now flip back to Alzheimer’s and related dementias… The new numbers come out next month, but as of the last set of numbers, nearly 6 million Americans are diagnosed with the disease…and all of them WILL DIE, minus a cure (or a miracle). All of them. Mom, Uncle Joe and the rest. All of the Sweet 17. Gone. Dead. 🙁 Worldwide, there are over 44 million diagnosed with the disease. You guessed it…they will nearly all be buried in the next 10-20 years, not even taking account for the new cases that come every 65 seconds.
Please don’t read anything into this piece as to the importance of both causes. Both are critically important! Allow this (ONLY) instead to be a glimpse of what it will take to turn this tide, remembering that we are going in the absolutely wrong direction right now, number-wise. From the ALZ.org facts section: “5.8 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER’S. BY 2050, THIS NUMBER IS PROJECTED TO RISE TO NEARLY 14 MILLION.”
I am done begging for funds, for now. 😉 (As the great scientific mind Dr. S. once said, “I’ll Be Baaack”)
Update: Mom was tired yesterday. She has a small cut on her cheek from the fall the morning before, but nothing to write home about. Apparently she fell out of her bed, not her chair. You would think someone like mom could have a bed rail, but we wouldn’t want to restrict their freedom to…uhhh…errr… not be able to get out of bed anyway. Her hospice worker wasn’t concerned about any injury this time, so we dodged another bullet.
Note: No negativity about my AIDS comparison allowed. It is a great example of the scope necessary to #EndALZ . There were huge benefit concerts everywhere. You couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing something pointing to the cause…and it has helped! 🙂 Now let’s do the same for Alzheimer’s and related dementias. It will take endless work…but it can be done.
Note: This isn’t the norm for my blog. I don’t typically
ask grovel for money. OK, not often. 😉 Thank you for indulging me. Now back to our regularly-scheduled program, already in progress.
SHHHHHHH! Here is a itsy bitsy version of my donation link. 😉 This was the very last time I will ask this article.