Press Durbin and Kirk to do more on Alzheimer's

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Ask senators Durbin and Kirk to Approve Alzheimer's Research Funding. Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease today, and its prevalence is only growing. My father died after 10 years of increasingly expensive facility placements and decline into not knowing that his caring family visited often.

Today, in honor of his journey through dementia, I volunteer at the Alzheimer's Association - Greater Illinois Chapter, where I speak with families struggling to cope every week.

Today there are more than five million Americans, 210,000 of whom are Illinois residents, living with Alzheimer's disease, and 15.4 million Alzheimer's caregivers. We are at a critical moment in the Alzheimer's epidemic, and it is incumbent upon the nation's leaders to ensure the promise of the country's first-ever national Alzheimer's plan.

As an advocate for the Alzheimer's Association, I urge Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to support a strong national Alzheimer's plan, which includes $100 million in funds in fiscal year 2014. After the July 4th weekend, the Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee, of which both Durbin and Kirk are members, will decide whether or not to allocate these critical funds for Alzheimer's research and support.

The U.S. spends more than $203 billion per year caring for those with Alzheimer's. These numbers are expected to skyrocket to more than $1.2 trillion by 2050. I ask my neighbors, will you join me in urging our legislators to take action?

Please take a moment today to call 1-800-687-3813 and tell either Sen. Durbin or Kirk that smart investments in Alzheimer's disease now will not only save millions of lives in the future but will be key to addressing our nation's fiscal challenges.

After speaking with the first senator's office, please dial 1-800-687-3813 a second time to speak with the other Illinois lawmaker.

Ruth Reko
River Forest

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