Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Editorials

September 10, 2013

Alzheimer's awareness brings passion for purple

Dear Editor:

Every October the country goes pink in support of breast cancer research.

It’s a beautiful sight. The underlying message is one of a vast network of support from family, friends, and total strangers.

I would love to see that support and have everyone go purple this September in honor of World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, especially on September 21, which is Alzheimer’s Action Day. Held Sept. 21 of each year, this is “a day on which Alzheimer’s organizations around the world concentrate their efforts on raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia.” This was launched by Alzheimer’s Disease International in 1994.

Alzheimer’s is a cause near and dear to my heart. Even with no other relative on either side of our family having this disease, it is what killed my Mom. Although not contagious, it can be hereditary and, since the cause has not yet been found, it may even be environmental. Alzheimer’s is also no longer confined to the elderly; people in their 40s and 50s are being afflicted with early-onset Alzheimer’s.

Currently there is no cure, no prevention, and no way to slow Alzheimer’s disease. It is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, affecting over 5 million people. It isn’t simply memory loss, of forgetting names, faces, addresses. Alzheimer’s disease kills the brain. The brain is our control center and, when the part of the brain that controls our breathing or other major functions dies, so do we.

I also extend a heartfelt plea for donations. Your money will be put to good use. Per the Alzheimer’s Association website – alz.org – “Your gift helps us to accelerate our mission to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease and to provide the best care and support to those living with Alzheimer’s.” Of their total annual expenses, 70% goes towards care, support, research, awareness, and advocacy activities.

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