Friday, September 21, 2012

World Alzheimer's Day

Today is World Alzheimer's Day but for anyone with a loved one suffering from this cruelest of cruel diseases, every day is Alzheimer's Day and, trust me, it's no celebration.

Here are a few statistics for you: Every 68 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's disease.  This disease doesn't play favorites and finds people from anywhere on the planet.  There are currently 5.4 million people suffering from it (just in the US!) and that number is expected to quadruple to as many as 16 million by 2050.  I also read recently that 1 out of 2 people over the age of 85 will suffer from Alzheimer's, especially as baby boomers age and people live longer. 

That lady in the photo is my mother.  Alzheimer's robbed my sister, brother, and me from my beautiful mother's final years.  She was the kindest, funniest, most brilliant lady I've ever known.  She died in July.  She didn't deserve Alzheimer's.  No one does.  There's nothing crueler than watching the people you love most lose their memories, not to mention the obvious suffering of the person with the disease.

We need a cure for this damn, heartless disease AND WE NEED IT NOW.

Get involved. Donate. Talk to politicians. Talk to your neighbors.  Don't wait.  Chances are, it will impact your family too.  I hope it doesn't.  I don't want you to go through what Mary, Joe and I did.  I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

9 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry, Liz! They need to find a cure. And the cause since it's on rise. Something is causing it.

Cathy said...

My mom died in May after suffering for 16 years (that I was aware of). Who knows what was in her mind prior to that. Maybe she felt it coming and maybe not. But you're right. It has to be the ugliest disease imaginable. I was so angry when she finally died. She was such a wonderful, sweet lady. No one deserves this.

Liz Fichera said...

Cathy, I am deeply sorry about your mother.

LD Masterson said...

Liz, we suffered a similar loss. We lost my dear mom to this terrible disease almost seven years ago. I totally agree, finding a cure needs to be much higher on everyone's priority list.

Ink in the Book said...

I have a dear, dear friend who suffers with A;zheimer's. It is a very hard disease to deal with, and I'm sure it's even more frustrating for the one who has has it.

Liz Fichera said...

@LD: So sorry about your mom. I know you've talked about her on your blog. I can tell how much you miss her.

@Ink: Seems everyone knows someone who knows someone who has this awful disease. I'm sick to my stomach that a cure isn't closer and that we don't already have one. I wish we could have done more for my mother. We felt so hopeless watching her deteriorate with nothing we could do except love her.

Trisha said...

For my family it's going to be interesting, because my mum's parents didn't live past their 50s and so my mum/her siblings don't know what they can expect from older age.

I can't imagine the horror of this disease, and hope I never have to see it affect my loved ones. I am so sorry that it affects anyone. You're right, a cure needs to be found and quickly.

Danette said...

Could anything be worse to end your days with? I don't know how I would survive without my faculties and memories.

I don't know how you managed it so gracefully standing by an watching it steal your mother. I would be... well, cheers to you!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Two of my friends are caring for their mothers, both of whom have this awful disease. It's hellish to watch someone you care about slowly fade away, and to be helpless to do a damned thing about it.