The message — that Advocacy is both rewarding and straightforward — comes through in the following dispatch from Gabrielle Corey in West Virginia:
“Justin Knabb and I (decorated in purple “STOP Alzheimer’s NOW” stickers!) headed to a town hall meeting in the beautiful Erma Byrd Gallery of the University of Charleston where WV Senator Jay Rockefeller was scheduled to talk about health care reform. After Sen. Rockefeller discussed his health care reform initiatives, he opened the floor up for questions.
“Justin got to ask the Senator if he was in support of (and would co-sponsor) the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act. Senator Rockefeller adamantly announced his personal support for the bill but said that the Finance Committee had declined support of it and he would therefore not become a co-sponsor.
“Unfortunately, Justin and I had to peace out for a Memory Walk meeting, but we were told by one of our advocates that Senator Rockefeller closed the meeting by mentioning his mom’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. Although Senator Rockefeller declined support for the bill, Justin and I were pleased that we got to ask the question so Senator Rockefeller knew that WV cared about including long-term care in health care reform efforts.”
Our thanks to Justin and Gabrielle. Their story makes another important point about advocacy. Just the act of asking a question often prompts our Congressmen to talk about Alzheimer’s. And when that happens, it often stays on their minds.
Senator Rockefeller is a Congressional Alzheimer champion. He is a long-time advocate of accessible and quality healthcare and is recognized as one of the Senate’s strongest champions for health care reform. Senator Jay Rockefeller and Sharon Percy Rockefeller were the recipients of the sixth annual Alzheimer’s Association Sargent and Eunice Shriver Profiles in Dignity Award.
He is also a co-sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act (S.1452/HR 3286).
Tell your member(s) of Congress to sign on to the Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act: http://www.alz.kintera.org/breakthroughact_actionalz