The normally drab halls of the California State Capitol were sparkling with color on March 6 as 160 Californians, clad in bright purple sashes, descended on Sacramento for Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day 2013.
As family members and individuals affected with Alzheimer’s disease, the volunteer advocates met with elected representatives and key staffers to share the impact the disease has had on them, and advocate for policies to help the many Californians confronted with the disease.
Alzheimer’s Advocacy Day, an annual event in California, is an opportunity to connect with legislators on a personal level, and to educate them about the realities of Alzheimer’s and what the legislature can do to improve life for the nearly 600,000 Californians who have the disease. Continue reading “Volunteers Push for Legislative Change at California Advocacy Day 2013” »
Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association CEO
To illustrate the fact that Alzheimer’s is a bi-partisan issue, Harry Johns started today’s lunch session by asking the Democrats in the room to applaud. He then asked Republicans to applaud. It became evident pretty quickly to everyone in the room, that the number of advocates from each party was fairly even.
He then invited former Kansas Congressman Dennis Moore back up to the stage to introduce the next speaker. Dennis, who spoke at last night’s Rally to Remember, represented Kansas’ Third Congressional District from 1999 to 2011.
“A few months ago, I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s,” he said. “It’s something I didn’t want to hear but (my wife) Stephanie and I wanted to turn it around into something positive.” With that, he introduced former Kansas Governor, friend and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. Continue reading “Kathleen Sebelius: It’s not an exaggeration to call Alzheimer’s a public health crisis in our country” »
Day two of the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum started at 4 a.m. PST. The team from California was blurry eyed but ready to tackle a program jam-packed with great speakers.
Following a rousing roll call of states in which chapters from around the country shared their advocacy successes from the past year, participants learned about the latest and most promising Alzheimer’s research breakthroughs from William Theis, chief medical officer with the Alzheimer’s Association.
“In the next eight months we are going to see some reports about stuff we really need to pay attention to,” he said. “We’re not talking about things coming in 15-20 years.” Continue reading “Don’t take no for an answer!” »
The Rally to Remember started with a poignant live rendition of Imagine by John Lennon that set a somber but hopeful tone for the rest of the evening.
Local Washington, D.C. CBS anchor JC Hayward took the stage to emcee the Rally once again put the Forum and Alzheimer’s Association advocacy into perspective for the room.
“For a moment let us just imagine… a world without Alzheimer’s disease; imagine that this is not just an issue, but a movement unified, demanding change,” she said. “Today we have gathered here because we want to move from imagining these things to actually living them.” Continue reading “The Rally to Remember: “If the love of your life is hit with this insidious disease, you cannot stand by and do nothing”” »