September is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. There are currently 5.4 million Americans, who live with this disease. Roughly 800,000 of those people live alone. Unless a cure is found, there could be as many as 16 million Americans by the year 2050. Out of the top 10 deadly diseases, it is the sixth leading cause of death. It is the only one of those top 10 that cannot be cured, prevented or slowed. The cost for care in the United States alone, for 2012 is estimated to be $200 million dollars.
These numbers suggest that we will each be affected in some way by this disease. Some will have the disease, some will care for those with the disease, some will have a loved one with the disease, and some will know, or know of, someone with Alzheimer’s. We will all be affected in some way by the beast.
If Daddy and I were able to have a conversation about the beast, and I told him about my feelings, the response that he would give me pushes me forward. Daddy would turn his head to the side a bit and look in my eyes and ask “what are you doing about it?”.
There were many conversations between the two of us and this was the question he asked me, especially when a situation seemed impossible. My response would be something like this. I can’t stop the beast by myself, so I am doing as many things as I can to help others find a cure. Sadly, a cure will not come in time for Daddy, but for others it may.
This month, I am wearing a purple ribbon. My daughter is walking again this year, and she is planning another Bake/Yard Sale in Daddy’s honor. I will help her. We donate to the Alzheimer’s Association, to help find a cure. I pray. I write. I remain hopeful.
It will take many people working together to end the disease. You can make a difference. Your prayers, time, or possibly a monetary contribution to the Alzheimer’s Association will help end this disease. Many small contributions will go together to create a large difference. None of us have immunity to this beast called Alzheimer’s. We will each feel the wrath of this evil and destructive beast in some fashion. Knowing that, I find myself unable to sit back and do nothing.