A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Without substantial federal investment, effort to end Alzheimer’s just an empty promise


By Chris Nation
Special to KyForward

As an Alzheimer’s Association Ambassador, I champion the fight to end Alzheimer’s and am proud of our community’s efforts.

On Sept. 10, nearly 3,000 residents from Louisville and the surrounding area joined the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s ® united in a movement to reclaim the future for millions. Through their dedication, participants raised $505,000.

The Alzheimer’s Association is grateful for these passionate people. Every dollar raised through the Walk will further critical efforts to advance advocacy and education, enhance care and support programs, raise awareness, and promote research.

We have a strategic National Alzheimer’s Plan in place with a goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025 and we have a Commonwealth full of citizens with an unwavering devotion to raising funds. But without a substantial federal investment, our plan to end Alzheimer’s disease is simply an empty promise.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only one without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression.

In addition to the human toll of the disease (on the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their over 15 million caregivers), Alzheimer’s is the most expensive condition in the nation. Nearly 1 in 5 Medicare dollars is spent on a person with Alzheimer’s.

Having seen the effects to my friend’s family members with Alzheimer’s, I know personally the issues our community faces in dealing with the escalating effects of Alzheimer’s and am committed to the cause.

Congressman Yarmuth, on behalf of the nearly 70,000 Kentuckians who have Alzheimer’s and the family members and friends who care for them, I urge you to heed the guidance of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and please support an additional $400 million for Alzheimer’s research in fiscal year 2017.

You can help save millions of lives and trillions of dollars.

For more information, call 1-800-272-3900 or visit alz.org.

Chris Nation

Chris Nation lives in Louisville. He is ambassador of the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Kentucky & Southern Indiana Chapter


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