Saturday, September 3, 2011
The Power of Purple! The End of Alzheimer’s Starts With Me—and You!
Alzheimer’s has no cure or prevention and according to the CDC nearly 75,000 die each year from the disease. More than five million people in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, and worldwide 35 million have the disease. Alzheimer’s Disease International estimates that 115 million people worldwide will have Alzheimer’s by 2050.
At one time, I knew nothing about Alzheimer’s and certainly didn’t think it affected anyone but the elderly. When the doctor told my 49-year-old husband he had dementia, most likely Alzheimer’s, my first reaction was, “They have medication for that now, don’t they?”
After our ten-year journey, I learned many harsh truths about Alzheimer’s. I know that I don’t want to have the disease, not now, not ever. I want to always recognize the people I love and continue to enjoy the talents and skills I’ve accumulated during my lifetime.
I don’t want anyone in my family to develop Alzheimer’s. I love visiting with my mom and discussing practical and philosophical matters with her—trivial details, or sweeping generalities. If she were to develop dementia, I would miss that important relationship. Not only do I wish that no one close to me has Alzheimer’s, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.
September is World Alzheimer’s Month and a perfect time to continue your support of the Alzheimer’s mission if, like me, you are a longtime volunteer. It is also an opportune time for newbies to learn about Alzheimer’s and become advocates.
Those of us who know Alzheimer’s from personal experience can show our support of this special month by wearing purple. After looking up information about purple, I believe it is a great choice for the fight against Alzheimer’s.
The color purple symbolizes mystery, and Alzheimer’s is indeed a mysterious disease. Researchers have learned much about the disease, but cannot solve the mystery of how to cure or prevent the disease. Purple represents magic, and we are ready for that magical moment when we live in a world without Alzheimer’s.
Purple is a combination of red (the warmest color) and blue (the coolest color). The color spectrum extremes could be compared to the emotional turmoil Alzheimer’s takes on the family of a person with Alzheimer’s.
It is only the second day of the month and I’ve polished my nails with an X-treme shade of purple. That way I’m sure that I’m wearing purple every day of World Alzheimer’s Month.
For many years, the 21st day of September was known as World Alzheimer’s Day, but since we now have an entire month, this day is known as Alzheimer’s Action Day. I have already changed my Facebook icon to END ALZ and encouraging everyone to do the same if they are ready to take the power of purple to the X-treme.
Why don’t we really make September 21 an action day? When you put on purple that day, take a few minutes to call your senator and representative to let them know Alzheimer’s research is a priority for you. Alzheimer’s research has always been underfunded and in this time of budgetary crisis, the belt may be tightened to the point of drying up Alzheimer’s research funding.