Category: Alzheimer's Info, Public Policy Forum, Research
I’m all lit up from the Public Policy Forum. More posts to follow about our federal priorities for 2009 and congressional visits, but first I want to focus on the energy of the event. Given today’s economic climate I was shocked to learn that over 600 Alzheimer’s advocates attended this year’s Forum. What you might not know is that the vast majority of advocates are volunteers who pay their own way and take time away from work and families to travel to Washington DC. The fact that 600 people were willing to make such a commitment in times of tight budgets and layoffs certainly sends a message. I was even more thrilled that five volunteer advocates from the state of Oregon joined me at the Forum–that translated into a volunteer for each congressional district in the state! Nola Roid (pictured second from right) exemplifies the definition of an advocate. She is caring from both her husband and brother who have early onset of the disease. She paid her way to Washington by raising funds at bake sales and auctioning off donated Blazer tickets.
From the somber energy at the candlelight vigil to the frenetic energy of a day on the Hill the experience of so many people with a shared vision and mission is magical. It’s impossible not to be touched. Maria Shriver, who is using her position as First Lady and celebrity to spotlight Alzheimer’s disease, said that her staff told she didn’t need to attend the candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial. Her response was that the vigil was the place she needed to be. That anyone who has walked the path of Alzheimer’s wants to pave a new way for those behind us.
Maria was also in DC to promote her upcoming documentary on HBO The Alzheimer’s Project. The documentary will air May 10-12th. I caught a sneak peak at the Forum and I can say without reservation there was not a dry eye in the audience. It’s an incredible look at the Alzheimer’s experience. I’ll keep you posted about special viewings in the Portland area, and for those of you who don’t subscribe to HBO you can download for free via their Web site.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2009 at 2:15 pm and is filed under Alzheimer's Info, Public Policy Forum, Research. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.