WATERTOWN (May 23, 2011) â€” Alan Holbrook from Groton joined almost 700 advocates from across the nation at the Alzheimer”s Association”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 Association”s Policy and Advocacy Committee and champions the cause of those dealing with younger-onset Alzheimer”s. This was his first trip to the annual Advocacy Forum. While there, Holbrook attended workshops on advocacy as well as meeting activists for Alzheimer”s disease from across the country. The trip culminated with the 37-member group from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Alzheimer”s Chapter visiting their congressional delegations to ask them to support the Breakthrough Act to increase Alzheimer”s research funding and the Hope for Alzheimer”s Act to improve education about and detection of the disease.
“One 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 Alzheimer”s Association, Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter. “If we do not find disease-altering treatments, 10 million Baby Boomers will develop Alzheimer”s.â€
Currently, 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer”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.
“We are grateful to Alan and all those who took the time to travel to Washington,â€ said Wessler. “I encourage everyone who has been touched by the disease to get involved and follow the wonderful example set by Alan.â€
The Alzheimer”s Association provides education and support for those dealing with Alzheimer”s and is the leading non-profit funder of research into causes, cures and an eventual treatment for Alzheimer”s. Offices are located in Watertown, Raynham, Springfield, and Worcester, MA and Bedford and Lebanon, NH. Information about Alzheimer”s is available at a 24/7 Helpline 800-272-3900 or www.alz.org/MANH.