Monday, December 28, 2015

Alzheimer’s War: A New Hope

At our family celebration, the day after Christmas, my grandson opened his Star Wars Lego’s. He is fascinated with all things Star Wars.

“Has he seen the new Star Wars movie,” I asked his dad.

“No, he hasn’t,” Rob replied.

I mentioned a photo posted on Facebook showing people lined up in front of a movie theater to see the original Star Wars in 1977. The caption read, “Your grandparents lined up to see the first Star Wars.”

“I remember when your dad and I took you and Eric to see Star Wars. We went to the drive-in to see it and you both fell asleep.” Of course, drive-in movies didn’t start until after dark and five- and seven-year-olds were up past their bedtimes. So, Jim and I were the only ones to see the entire movie.

“I don’t even remember it,” Rob said. He didn’t remember getting the toys for Christmas either: R2D2 and C3PO.

Of course, at the time, we thought there would only be one Star Wars movie. Instead, it was the series of movies that just kept on giving, and in 2015 gave again. What I didn’t know was that due to the prequels, the original Star Wars movie’s name was changed to Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope.

It seems odd that an original movie in a series would be renamed, “A new hope.” I find that intriguing for life as well. We all face so much adversity just living from day to day that we could use a little bit of “new” hope to keep us going.

When dealing with  Alzheimer’s, we may have years of sorrow, months of endurance, weeks of despair, and days of joy, but through it all, we never give up hope.

With Alzheimer’s, hope may be just hoping for a good day, hoping that the family pulls together, hope that there is something way better than this world. Hope for a miracle burrows deep within our hearts that the cure will be discovered in time to save our loved ones.

Now, we have a new hope. We have hope that this disease will be stamped out in our lifetime. Finally, our nation is pulling together to fund research in an unprecedented amount. We have declared war on Alzheimer’s.

On December 22, Harry Johns, CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, said, “As we celebrate this momentum for our cause, we are, of course, deeply appreciative of our champions in Congress, members from both parties, who have made the advances we need much more likely with the historic funding increase announced last week. They have provided unprecedented leadership that will ultimately make a difference in millions and millions of lives.”

I’ll be making my sixteenth consecutive trip to the Alzheimer’s Advocacy Forum in April to help celebrate this new hope. Yes, an increase in funding is a great victory but our work isn’t done, and it won’t be, until Alzheimer’s is a curable disease.

A cure has been my hope for many, many years. My new hope is that someday I’ll go to D.C. and won’t have anything on my agenda except sight-seeing. Until then, I’ll wear my purple sash and continue to fight the war against Alzheimer’s.

Copyright © December 2015 by L.S. Fisher

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