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Fight against Alzheimer's should be a national priority

By KIMBERLY FONDAW Grand Rivers

EDITOR:

On April 9, more than 800 people living with Alzheimer's, caregivers and advocates from across the nation, gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 26th Annual Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum. Representing millions of people impacted by Alzheimer's across the country, they engaged in the democratic process and appealed to members of Congress for action on Alzheimer's disease.

According to the Alzheimer's Association 2014 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures Report, there are more than 5 million Americans living with the disease, and 15.5 million Alzheimer's caregivers. As an Alzheimer's ambassador, it is my honor to play a role in addressing this rapidly growing health crisis.

In addition to the human toll, Alzheimer's is the most expensive condition in the nation, costing $214 billion a year.

Nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimer's or another dementia.

Alzheimer's is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only cause of death among the top 10 without a way to prevent, stop or even slow its progression.

It is only through adequate funding and a strong implementation of the national plan to address Alzheimer's disease that we will meet its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025.

Please call Congressman Ed Whitfield and ask him to make Alzheimer's disease a national priority.

To learn how you can get involved in the fight against Alzheimer's, visit alz.org.

KIMBERLY FONDAW

Grand Rivers

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