ALZ Fundraising Letter

“I KNOW YOU’RE IN THERE SOMEWHERE!”

 

SCORE

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE                   POPULATION

  

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“Isn’t it about time we evened the score or moved ahead?”

Together we can beat this horrible, debilitating, disease and permanently take it out of the game. But, in order to accomplish this we desperately need your generous contributions and continued support as a respected

Team Player!

 

Dear Teammate,

Did you know that Alzheimer’s disease is now the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and that five million people are presently living and dealing with this incurable disease? According to www.alz.org, 500,000 people a year are dying from Alzheimer’s disease and sadly, that number is certain to increase dramatically unless researchers can find a cure.

 

Alzheimer’s Disease Does Not Discriminate

I’m willing to bet that if a public poll was taken where it asked the participant; “At what age do you develop Alzheimer’s disease?” almost all the replies would put the age somewhere between 65 and 85 years old.

Although this would be a reasonable response, this answer would only be partially correct. It might surprise you to know that in 2014 an estimated 5.2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s disease and that 200,000 of those people suffered from younger, or early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This means they were under the age of 65 years old!

As surprising as this is, the sad reality is; “Everyone is vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease no matter how old you are, it does not discriminate!”

Never think that it can’t happen to you or someone you know or love just because you think you or them are too young to develop Alzheimer’s disease or because you take great care of your body and eat right and exercise.

“I’m here to set the record straight and tell you . . . IT CAN”

Don’t believe me? Well, I’m here to tell you the story of a family, a wonderful, loving family I know and how a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease has changed them forever and why now, more than ever, your kind, generous, tax deductible, donations are so desperately needed and appreciated.

 

“She Has Alzheimer’s Disease!”

 

I can still hear those words my friend said to me as if they were spoken six seconds ago. It was a dreary, gray, freezing cold, winter day and it unfortunately matched the mood my friend and his wife were feeling as I sat there in a silence that can only be described as shocking and heartbreaking.

My best friend’s wife had been having some memory issues which they both contributed to stress, anxiety and what we commonly and jokingly refer to as “Senior Moments” After all, she was only 52 years old, college educated, healthy, active and much too young to have any serious issues with her memory and behavior. Well, that’s we thought anyway.

As the days progressed into months, her ability to remember things seemed to be getting worse, but everyone (except my friend) laughed it off as normal forgetfulness and comical blunders.

He knew something else was going on and he was really beginning to become worried about her condition. One day, he briefly mentioned his concern to her about her memory issue and was pretty much shot down and told that he was being paranoid. “Was he?”

It wasn’t too long after being told he was crazy that his daughters began to see the truth about their mother’s condition and soon they were all on board with his theory that something serious was happening to her mentally and it wasn’t just natural forgetfulness.

Without going into great detail, the turning factor was the night she left the house to pick up some take-out food they had ordered and she came back almost 45 minutes later with nothing in her hand.

My buddy asked her where the food was and she looked up at all of them with a very sad and confused expression and said; “I forget where it is!” She of course was referring to the restaurant which just happened to be less than 1/16 of a mile from their house and one they frequented all the time.

She had been driving around the city the whole time looking for this restaurant. His eldest daughter then left to pick up the food and he was left with a major issue to make a decision about.

With the support of his daughters, he called and set up an appointment with a Cognitive Neurologist at one of the best hospitals in the world. Luckily, we only live twenty six miles from a major city with many state of the art medical facilities at our doorstep.

They spent the next few months going in and out of the city as test after test after test was performed on his wife. Then came the moment of truth. The diagnosis was;

 

“Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease”

 

They were both in shock and denial, which was soon followed by many, many, tears. My buddy came to the sad realization that he was facing the bitter truth about his wife, his best friend, the mother of his three daughters and the grandmother of their grandchildren.

There are no words that can accurately describe what and how he was feeling, but all he cared about was trying to make her better, find a cure for her as fast as possible. Surely, there must be something that can be done to correct this?

He could read the bad news in her doctor’s eye’s when she asked him about a cure and then again when she pleaded with him to make her well again. His response and approach was kind and noble, but my friend could tell it had been used many, many, times before. I guess there really are no easy ways to inform someone that; “There Is No Cure!”

They sat in silence and listened as he gave them both a pep talk about how far they have come in treating “Alzheimer’s Disease” and that hopefully a cure is on the horizon, blah, blah, blah . . .and his voice just trailed away as they sat there contemplating their future.

The one where they were supposed to retire together and travel to places they’ve never been to, the one that was now gone forever, taken away in an instant.

Their ride home that day consisted of silence, tears and a positivity lecture from my buddy that was unintentionally less than comforting, but honestly sincere. Both of them dreaded the fact that they had to go home and share this bad news with their daughters who were patiently waiting to hear about the test results.

As they had thought and predicted, they cried . . . which of course initiated the waterworks with both my friend and his wife. It wasn’t long before it turned into a family event.

Her future could not be predicted and she was allowed to remain working until such time when the disease made it impossible for her to function properly at her duties.

She was also put on some medications that had a high success rate in stabilizing brain function and possibly slowing the advancement of her “Alzheimer’s disease,” but never really curing it.

Her doctor still has faith that researchers will one day find a cure for this terrible disease, but until then I humbly urge you to please get involved and join the movement to find a cure. Remember, no one is immune . . . not even you!

 

Will You Be Part Of The Epidemic?

 

Tic-toc tic-toc, that’s the sound of the global clock ticking away and letting you know that you’ve run out of time and it’s your turn to be diagnosed with “Alzheimer’s disease.”

Did you know that every 67 seconds someone in America develops “Alzheimer’s disease?” That’s one statistic I never want to be a part of.

According to www.alz.org by the year 2050 nearly 14 million Americans could be living with the disease and that the number of people over the age of 65 with “Alzheimer’s disease” may nearly triple from 5 million to as many as 16 million barring some miraculous medical breakthrough that prevents, stops and cures this disease.

What a joyous, happy, day it will be for everyone in the world when an announcement is made that a cure for “Alzheimer’s disease” has been found.

I wish that moment was right this second and so does my friend and his family. Until you have experienced the devastating reality of “Alzheimer’s disease” you cannot even remotely understand the pain and anguish that accompanies this wretched disease.

Imagine watching someone you love searching for a simple word like “shoe” because they can’t remember what it is or observing them attempting to perform a task like peeling a potato, but forgetting how.

The worst part is the helplessness you feel not being able to help them as they look at you with pleading eyes as if to say; “Please, please, help me to remember!”

Are you or someone you love going to be one of the millions of tortured souls to develop “Alzheimer’s disease” in the future?

Or . . . are you going to be someone who cares enough to give a thoughtful donation in the hopes of finding a cure before it strikes you or someone you love just like it did to my friend and his family?

 

A Message For Women Only . . .

 

This might come as a shock to you, but of the hundreds of thousands of people diagnosed with “Alzheimer’s disease” last year, two thirds just happened to be women. The news gets worse too; www.alz.org reports that;

“Women Are At The Epicenter Of The Alzheimer’s Epidemic”

  • In her 60’s, a women’s life time estimated risk for developing “Alzheimer’s disease” is 1 in 6. For breast cancer it is 1 in 11.
  • There are 2.5 times more women than men providing intensive “on-duty” care 24 hours a day for someone with “Alzheimer’s disease”
  • More than 60% of “Alzheimer’s” and “Dementia” caregivers are women.

 

Hey guys, think about that for a moment. Let’s say that you have a wife, daughter, sister, mother, mother-in-law, aunt and two grandmothers, five out of eight of them are statistically going to develop “Alzheimer’s disease” in their lifetime.

“Do you really want to see someone in your family, someone that you love, have to go through that?” My friend is living it right now and I can assure you with complete and total conviction that it is not an experience you want to go through!

At 53 years old and at the prime of his life, my friend should be planning fun, exciting and memorable, things to do together and not watching over her to make sure she remembers to eat or take her medications or keeps a doctor’s appointment.

There are days my buddy just wants to throw in the towel, lift his hands to the sky and scream; “I Give Up!”

But it’s only out of fear and frustration, not anger, because there’s nothing he can do to cure this horrible thief called “Alzheimer’s disease” Love always finds a way to cope and deal somehow, but having someone on the outside to talk with isn’t a bad idea either.

“Considering that every 4 seconds someone in the world is diagnosed with Dementia, the need for donations to help support and fund necessities such as research, counseling, support groups and caregivers has never been greater than it is today.”

Without your generous donations, the economic impact of “Alzheimer’s disease” has the chance of destroying our economy!

 

“Alzheimer’s Disease” An Economic Nightmare

 

“Crippling”

That’s what “Alzheimer’s disease” is projected to do to America’s Healthcare System.

Believe me or not, but I’m sorry to say friends, it’s the truth; www.brightfocus.org reports that “If Dementia care were a company, it would be the world’s largest by revenue, exceeding Walmart (US 414 billion) and Exxon Mobile (US 311 billion).

Try and wrap your mind around those numbers, it’s staggering, depressing and terrifying all at the same time. None of us are immune to the local, national or even global ramifications of this ravaging disease.

In 2012, the total payments for healthcare, long-term care and hospice care for people with Dementia and “Alzheimer’s disease” were projected to increase from $200 billion to $1.1 trillion in 2050 (in 2012 dollars).

This dramatic rise as reported by www.brightfocus.org includes a six fold increase in government spending under Medicare and Medicaid and a five-fold increase in out-of-pocket spending.

In 2014, the out of pocket expenses for people with “Alzheimer’s disease” and other “Dementias” was estimated to be $36 Billion . . .

Seriously, who is going to have that kind of money to pay out of their own pocket, not me, that’s for sure? If it should happen to me or my wife, we’re proverbially “screwed” there’s no other way to say it in order to make it sound less devastating and I know for certain that I am not alone on this sinking ship. The only difference is; “They had an orchestra!”

 

Don’t think this can’t happen to you because it can, possibly even several times within your immediate family. “How Are You Going To Pay For It?”

 

Please Make A Donation To The Alzheimer’s Association Today,

You May Be Donating To Your Own Future.”

 

Caregivers Need Your Help Today

 

It’s not rocket science to understand that people with “Alzheimer’s disease” need on-going care, but the progression of the disease appropriates the level of care that is needed. For some it may be 24/7 and for others 8 hours a day until a spouse, family member or other caregiver arrives back home. It varies from patient to patient.

“The level Of Care Is Proportionate To The Progression”

 

My friend is considered a caregiver, but luckily for the moment his responsibilities are minimal and revolve around cooking, cleaning, paying bills, driving, answering the same question multiple, multiple, multiple, times and remembering for two.

Unfortunately, unless a cure is found sooner than later, my friends wife’s doctor has informed them that the disease will eventually progress to a point where they will need to seek assistance from an outside source.

It is impossible to put any sort of time frame of when it will progress as every person’s experience is different and unique to them.

One fact I do know is; caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease” are physically and emotionally devastated from the burden of caregiving. According to www.alz.org caregivers had $9.3 Billion in additional healthcare costs in 2013.

Nearly 60% of “Alzheimer’s and Dementia” caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high, and more than 1/3 report symptoms of depression.

In 2013, 15 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with “Alzheimer’s and other Dementias.” Care valued at 220 billion, which is nearly 8 times the revenue of McDonalds in 2012.

If there was ever a time to donate to the “Alzheimer’s Association” it is NOW!

Waiting one more day is like giving this killer disease one more day to get stronger and grab hold of millions of other innocent, kind hearted, men and women. Not to mention the heavy burden being put on the caregivers.

 

Which One Are You Going To Be?

 

The way I see it is; your chances of being diagnosed with “Alzheimer’s disease” increases every year and even more if you’re a woman . . .

Or you might find yourself in the stressful, devastating, role as caregiver to someone very close to you such as a husband or wife. . .

Or you can be a very special person who gives generously and donates to the “Alzheimer’s Association” hoping above all else that a cure can and will be found very soon!

 

“Alzheimer’s disease” is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed as reported by www.alz.org . . . how’s that for encouragement? If anything, it should encourage you to donate to the “Alzheimer’s Association.”

 

 

“He Cries Alone”

 

I would be lying through my teeth if I were to say there weren’t days when my friend feels like giving up, saying “screw it all” and walking away.

It gets worse when I think about the future that lies ahead for all of them unless a cure is found and it scares the hell out of me. I don’t know if I would have the strength, courage or ability to be the caregiver I feel I needed to be and I’d panic.

My friend confided in me that there are times he cries when he’s alone and wondering about the future. Sometimes he feels guilty, other times its anger, and more often than not, he becomes very depressed. He hasn’t been truly happy since her diagnosis, and I miss him being happy.

There are days he feels so incredibly alone, not knowing what to do and then there are days that go very smoothly without an incident.

The uncertainty is probably the biggest stress factor. One day his hopes are high and the next day he’s face down in the dirt.

And while it is heartbreaking for him and his daughters, I can’t even begin to imagine how badly his wife must feel when her mind removes the chains that hold her prisoner and everything becomes clear again.

She’s left wondering; “Dear God, what did I say or do that might have embarrassed me or my family. Obviously that’s not the life she wants to live and I can only imagine how much it must bother her.

Sometimes my friend will find her sitting by herself . . . crying because all she wants is to get better and not have to worry about saying something or doing something wrong or inappropriate.

Would any of you enjoy living like that?

 

That’s why I’m humbly asking you to;

“Please, Please, Donate To The Alzheimer’s Association!”

Let’s Find A Cure Together,

As Team Players, We Can Do This!

 

Please Support the “Alzheimer’s Association”

Donate Today!

Help A friend, A family Member. . . Yourself!

 

Warmest Regards and Many Thanks,

 

 

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