Dear Editor,

My passion to advocate for a world without Alzheimer's began the day my 53-year-old husband was diagnosed with the disease. I realized that I had the voice to tell our story as my husband was no longer able to. My children were young. I was scared. Each activity of daily living that someone with Alzheimer's can no longer do places the burden on the caregiver. Alzheimer's is not merely losing keys. It is not knowing how or what they are used for. My husband wanted to help but it's difficult when he was not aware of whether he was loading or unloading the dishwasher and other similar tasks. There is no cure for Alzheimer's. There is no way to stop or slow the progression of Alzheimer's. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. There are an estimated 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer's and 1 in 10 Americans age 65 and older has Alzheimer's dementia. 200,000 Americans under the age of 65, have younger onset Alzheimers. I ask that Senator Warner cosponsor the Bipartisan Younger-Onset Alzheimer's disease Act of 2019, which would allow individuals under the age of 60 to be eligible to access programs under the Older Americans Act. I am encouraged that progress is being made to provide services for those with younger onset Alzheimer's. We must be bold as we hope for medical breakthroughs when asking for an additional $350 million for research.

Sarah Harris


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