I’ll never forget the first time I saw my grandmother and realized that she didn’t recognize me. It’s like a punch in the gut that you can’t recover from. During the course of the next two years we witnessed her fade away. Alzheimer’s disease is a thief. It stole her memories, her independence, her quality of life and ultimately contributed to her death.
It’s the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. It is for all of these reasons that 18 months ago I began working for the Alzheimer’s Association. I want to put an end to this dreadful disease.
Today, I’m riding my bike as part of the Alzheimer’s Association Longest Day™ to the former home of George Washington – Mt. Vernon. Our first President once said that, ““Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”
I think all too often in this country we make excuses for why we can’t solve the Alzheimer’s crisis. For me, that ends today.
Brendan Burns works in online advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association Public Policy office in D.C. He spends his time chasing after two young children and riding his bike. He prides himself on being one of the 100 people in the world who watch C-SPAN for fun. Today he is participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Longest DayTM, a sunrise-to-sunset relay supporting those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.