Nov 142013
 
A Tribute to My Care Partner

Next month, Mary Margaret and I will have been together 50 years. She is a very positive gal, extremely caring and inclusive with her friends. I am not always a social animal. Mary, however, is very outgoing and makes new friends easily. These days, we are attached at the hip… but it wasn’t always this way. In 2009, I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. After I received the diagnosis our lives changed. At the time, Mary [...]

Aug 232013
 
Alzheimer’s, Nana and Me

I was 9 when I saw my mom and my Da crying, and I thought my Nana must be sick.  When I asked no one would tell me anything. Then one weekend, when Nana and I were going to watch movies all night and eat popcorn, I asked her if she was sick.  She explained to me that her body was not sick, but her brain was. It was the first time I had ever [...]

May 082013
 
A Return Trip to Washington D.C., This Time as an Alzheimer’s Advocate

Over the course of my professional career as a space scientist (from 1966 to 2002), I probably visited the Washington, D.C. area 14 or 15 times every year.  These trips averaged two or three days, visiting various government agencies involved in funding scientific research from Greenbelt, Maryland to Alexandria, Virginia and beyond.  However, the only time that I can remember that I visited the Capitol Building was as a seventh grader on a spring school [...]

Apr 242013
 
Hope and Resolve on Capitol Hill: The Voice of an Alzheimer's Advocate

Alzheimer’s disease has been the greatest heartbreak of my life.  I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s disease. And then, my father. I tell their story, because they can’t.  I tell their story in hopes that future generations will not have the same story to tell. Today, I am surrounded by fellow advocates at the 25th annual Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum – my thirteenth. We are the voice of many, with one message:  The time to [...]

Apr 222013
 
Advocating for an End to Alzheimer's

Sometimes I feel like I’m standing with a crowd of people on a railroad track and there’s a freight train coming. I can hear a whistle in the distance, but everybody else is chatting about the weather or shrugging their shoulders. They are saying things like, “It sure would be terrible to get stuck on this track when the train comes,” or worse, “I don’t hear anything.” The train continues to get closer—but no one [...]

Sep 212012
 
The Realities of Alzheimer's and Overcoming Stigma

 A Note from Michael: I would love to thank each one of you for the wonderful comments I received from my article.  As an advocate, it can be challenging to measure the ways in which my story is received by others. Seeing all of this positive feedback has given me a boost to continue writing and raising awareness for the millions of American’s affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Since receiving my diagnosis, I have had the [...]

Sep 192012
 
I Am Taking Action Because Those Affected by Alzheimer’s Can’t Wait!

For the past eight days, I have been walking—a journey of more than 200 miles in total. I chose to make this trek for each and every one of more than 5 million people suffering with Alzheimer’s disease—and in particular, for my father, Lt. Col. Carl Rabon Stephens, who is a retired army chaplain. Why am I walking to Washington, D.C.?  Because we need to ensure the passage of $100 million dollars for Alzheimer’s research [...]

May 232012
 
Glen Campbell Sings to Congress, Keeps Alzheimer’s in the Public Eye

On Wednesday, May 16, the Alzheimer’s Association hosted “An Evening with Glen Campbell,” an event to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among members of Congress. Held at the Library of Congress, the evening honored country music legend Campbell, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, and his family. Actress and philanthropist Jane Seymour welcomed a crowd including members of Congress, staff and their families. Seymour’s husband, James Keach, and his filmmaking partner, Trevor Albert, are making [...]

Apr 232012
 
Why I Signed the Petition for a Strong National Alzheimer's Plan

My mother had Alzheimer’s disease, and what it did to her was just terrible. Her mother had it too. A few years ago, my wife, a retired nurse, noticed that I was having short-term memory problems. When I got lost trying to find my way around a familiar hospital campus, we decided that I needed to be medically evaluated. That was in 2010, and I was diagnosed with an “early-stage” memory problem. A year later, [...]

May 052011
 

Congress has created a new Peer-Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research program at the Department of Defense.  The program was included in the federal spending bill signed by the president on April 15, 2011.  While countless programs received funding reductions, including a $260 million cut for the National Institutes of Health, the Alzheimer’s community secured a significant victory for Alzheimer’s research in the finalized spending bill. The Peer-Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research program created by Congress at the Department of [...]

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