Thursday, September 24, 2009

HBO "The Alzheimer's Project" Emmy Awards

Reposted from The Huffington Post.

As 78 million American baby boomers age, the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease will skyrocket. Economically, it has the potential to bankrupt an already fragile health care system. Socially, we have yet to overcome much of the stigma associated with it. In terms of basic knowledge and research, Alzheimer's is progressive, it is fatal, and there is currently no cure for it.

Despite these sobering facts, great progress is being made in the discovery of Alzheimer's causes and treatments. This progress must continue. To ensure that critical research funding becomes and remains a priority, we must all raise awareness about this disease. We must hear from even more Alzheimer advocates, including people living with the disease, their friends and family, public servants, celebrities and the entertainment industry.

This year, HBO Documentary Films and First Lady of California Maria Shriver were on the forefront of this awareness effort with "The Alzheimer's Project." The Alzheimer's Association would like to applaud and congratulate all those involved in the creation of these films on winning two Creative Arts Emmy awards. "The Memory Loss Tapes," which shadows seven individuals living in various stages of Alzheimer's, won for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking; and "Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? with Maria Shriver," which captures what it means to be a child or grandchild of someone with Alzheimer's, won for Outstanding Children's Nonfiction Program. Both of these films revealed the realities of Alzheimer's disease, sparking conversations in living rooms nationwide and at more than 110 Alzheimer's Association community screenings.

Shriver, who served as an executive producer on the series and is a passionate voice for her own father and all those living with the disease, deserves special recognition. In addition to "The Alzheimer's Project" and numerous other advocacy activities, Shriver has testified before Congress as a compelling witness of the physical, emotional and financial devastation of this disease. Shriver's presence at Alzheimer's Association events from candlelight vigils to galas is felt and appreciated by the 5.3 million Americans living with Alzheimer's and their 10 million caregivers.

Yesterday, September 21, 2009, was World Alzheimer's Day and the Alzheimer's Association would like to thank all Alzheimer's Champions committed to the fight against Alzheimer's. An American develops Alzheimer's every 70 seconds. Now is the time to follow the lead of Shriver and all of the partners in the HBO documentary by joining the cause at

-Harry Johns

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day.

One way the Alzheimer’s Association is marking this day is through the release of the 2009 World Alzheimer Report. The report shows that the number of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is rising substantially worldwide. The impact on families, governments, and national healthcare systems will be immense, and it is essential that governments respond to this significant global public health threat now.

The Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act of 2009 (S. 1492/H.R. 3286), introduced in the Senate by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) and in the House by Representatives Edward Markey (D-MA) and Christopher Smith (R-NJ), seeks to increase funding for Alzheimer’s at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to $2 billion which would be a significant step in restoring momentum in the pursuit of better diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

The legislation also creates a National Summit on Alzheimer's, which would bring together researchers, policymakers and public health professionals to discuss the latest promising research avenues in Alzheimer's disease.

Watch this clip from the TODAY Show interview with Alzheimer’s Association President and CEO Harry Johns and actor and Alzheimer Champion David Hyde Pierce:

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and

Help fund breakthroughs in Alzheimer's disease research while providing more support to caregivers. Tell your members of Congress to sign on to the Breakthrough Act.

-Robert Egge

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day Celebrity Champions

What do Seth Rogen, Bradley Cooper, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck all have in common? Watch and see:

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer's

The following is the story of an actual Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer's event, which raised money to support the Alzheimer's Association.

Wow, what a game. I knew that watching my favorite college football team was going to be a blast but luckily we were able to also turn it into something good. This past fall we hosted a Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer’s event before and after our game. We combined our usual gathering of friends and family with a chance to take action against Alzheimer’s. We were able to collect donations, register advocates and share the importance of bringing awareness about this devastating disease. It was easy. We received the supplies needed from the association, combined it with our own purple party favors and created an environment for having fun all while benefiting a great cause. So step up, take action and join me again this fall as we Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer’s. I look forward to seeing your event at your local parking lot this fall.

Visit to Tailgate to Tackle Alzheimer's!

-Matt Popovich

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Friday, September 4, 2009

Local Health Reform Action Wraps Up

This weekend wraps up a month of in-district action where advocates asked our federal officials to pass health care reform this year that includes long-term services and supports for people with Alzheimer’s and to co-sponsor the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act.

I want to personally thank the thousands of advocates who carried our messages into town hall meetings and district offices. Our Washington, DC staff will follow up on all of your efforts.

Congress returns to Capitol Hill after Labor Day to move forward with health care reform legislation in September with a goal of finishing the process by the end of October. Keep an eye out for more on the progress of our priority issues in the weeks to come.

One final point – Advocacy in August wasn’t just about Congress. In this account, Liz McConnell reflects on her advocacy on behalf of Alzheimer’s with the President.

“Since attending the Obama Town Hall Meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire I continue to have hope. I saw hope in the faces of most of the general public who attended, the Obama staff, volunteers and the President himself. Those attending are hoping for reform of the healthcare system, and my hope is that reform will include changes in attitudes and policy regarding long-term care and increases in research funding for Alzheimer's Disease.

I came to the event as a volunteer, but also as an advocate. I want people to think broadly about healthcare reform, and include Alzheimer’s disease in that equation. I spent the first hour before my volunteer duties began distributing purple ‘Stop Alzheimer’s Now’ stickers to the waiting crowd. Inevitably, people tell me their stories of loved ones diagnosed or lost to Alzheimer’s. When they tell me their stories, they make connections with changes that must occur, and often talk about their fears of the increase in numbers of people who will be diagnosed. Without a change in the system, their fear is that they might one day be a part of those greater numbers of people diagnosed in a broken healthcare system.

During the event, there was one question relating to Medicare and the savings the administration is hoping to gain through greater efficiencies within the system to help pay for part of the cost of healthcare reform. There was concern expressed that the savings would be gained through taking away currently offered services. President Obama made assurances that the cost savings will come from efficiencies and not cuts in service.

As an advocate, I want to make sure the President keeps that promise. Alzheimer’s disease should be foremost in his mind when it comes to reform. My opportunity to remind the President of that came at the end of the event. When the President shook my hand I held onto his right hand and placed a purple ‘Stop Alzheimer’s Now’ sticker in his left hand. He put the sticker in his pants pocket.”
Who knows what he thought when he pulled that sticker out later? I like to think he spent at least a couple moments thinking about what can be done to do just that: “Stop Alzheimer’s Now”.

So, advocacy is critical to our success. But it’s also often fun, and surprisingly straightforward. If we all engage in Advocacy, we will much sooner get to our vision of “A World Without Alzheimer’s”.

Keep up the good work!
- Robert Egge

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

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