Saturday, September 6, 2014

Alzheimer's and ALS, What You Should Know

First, let me start by saying this; ALS is a terible disease and I know it needs more funding. The "Ice Bucket Chalange" has raised millions for ALS research and that's a great thing. However, it saddens me and it even angers me that so much attention has been given to ALS and not Alzheimer's.

Let me explain my point of view on this.

According to ALSA.ORG, about 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year, and currently there  may be 30,000 Americans living with the disease.

I think that statistic is terrible and something should be done to find a cure, but let's compare ALS to Alzheimer's.

According to ALZ.ORG, there are currently 5,000,000, yes five million, Americans living with Alzheimer's right now and Alzheimer's is the number six cause of death in the U.S.

Now, are those scary numbers or what?

Alzheimer's is personal to me and my family, my mother is dying from Alzheimer's. Not only that, she is the fifth person I have personally known to get this horrible disease. Mom's brother is three years her junior and he has Alzheimer's too. However, his part of the family is in denial and only think it's "old timers". But he's right where Mom was three years ago, perhaps even worse. There is a storm coming for them they are not prepared for.

Also according to ALZ.ORG, "In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion". I am one of these people, not only am I unpaid, I pay for this with my blood, sweet and tears on a daily basis.

I'm not trying to slam on ALS or the ice-bucket challenge, but it really bothers me that this type of attention has not been paid to a disease that affects ten times more people.

As a final note, our family will donate to ALS and Alzheimer's this year.

If you have any thoughts on this please feel free to share!


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