WATERTOWN (May 23, 2011) â€” Alan Holbrook from Groton joined almost 700 advocates from across the nation at the Alzheimerâ€™s Associationâ€™s Advocacy Forum, May 15-17 in Washington, D.C. Holbrook and other advocates attended seminars on Alzheimer policy issues and then took their own personal stories directly to state representatives and senators on Capitol Hill.
Holbrook is a member of the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Associationâ€™s Policy and Advocacy Committee and champions the cause of those dealing with younger-onset Alzheimerâ€™s. This was his first trip to the annual Advocacy Forum. While there, Holbrook attended workshops on advocacy as well as meeting activists for Alzheimerâ€™s disease from across the country. The trip culminated with the 37-member group from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Alzheimerâ€™s Chapter visiting their congressional delegations to ask them to support the Breakthrough Act to increase Alzheimerâ€™s research funding and the Hope for Alzheimerâ€™s Act to improve education about and detection of the disease.
â€œOne of our top priorities is to increase Alzheimer research funding to help fight what could be a devastating situation for our nation,â€ said James Wessler, CEO/President of the Alzheimerâ€™s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. â€œIf we do not find disease-altering treatments, 10 million Baby Boomers will develop Alzheimerâ€™s.â€
Currently, 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimerâ€™s. However, national funding for research has lagged behind other major diseases. The Advocacy Forum works on that issue and educate members of Congress about the impact of the disease.
â€œWe are grateful to Alan and all those who took the time to travel to Washington,â€ said Wessler. â€œI encourage everyone who has been touched by the disease to get involved and follow the wonderful example set by Alan.â€
The Alzheimerâ€™s Association provides education and support for those dealing with Alzheimerâ€™s and is the leading non-profit funder of research into causes, cures and an eventual treatment for Alzheimerâ€™s. Offices are located in Watertown, Raynham, Springfield, and Worcester, MA and Bedford and Lebanon, NH. Information about Alzheimerâ€™s is available at a 24/7 Helpline 800-272-3900 or www.alz.org/MANH.