Welcome Letter from George Vradenburg, Co-Founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s
Dear Alzheimer’s Activist,
Thanks to activists like you, we are building a movement to stop Alzheimer’s. It’s because of your willingness to speak up that policymakers are beginning to take notice of the immense human and fiscal crisis wrought by Alzheimer's disease. Yet, as we all know, the stark and tragic reality is that currently there is no cure, treatment or other means of prevention for Alzheimer’s. We cannot accept this status quo. By building a network of engaged and enraged activists in your community, you drive our collective movement forward.
The Activist Toolkit is only one way we hope to support you in your work. As you know, we continue to issue action alerts, suggesting pivotal moments when we think it is important to engage with national lawmakers and others.
But the toolkit provides a focal point. We hope it will support and guide you in organizing others, pressuring policymakers and talking to the press about the urgent need to make stopping Alzheimer’s a national priority. You will find information on Alzheimer’s, its costs, research funding and federal policy, as well as the guidance and documents you’ll need to take action to stop this devastating disease. For example, the toolkit includes information on making appointments with members of Congress, and getting the most out of those meetings, using social media to promote the fight to stop Alzheimer’s, and writing letters to the editor, among other topics.
Activists like you are critically important to the movement to end Alzheimer’s. As family members, caregivers and researchers who have seen the personal toll of Alzheimer’s, together we must demand transformative actions to achieve the attainable goal of ending Alzheimer’s by 2020. Mobilizing your community helps build a critical mass of activists who are aware of the devastating effects of this disease. And by working together, we will urge our political leaders to make critical investments in scientific research needed to cure Alzheimer’s.
Thank you as always for your compassion, determination and commitment to this fight. We cannot do it without you.
How to Stop Alzheimer's Disease
This is a pivotal time for the Alzheimer's community. Researchers believe it's possible to prevent or control the disease within ten years with a disciplined strategy that is adequately funded. To succeed, we need a political strategy that ensures that elected officials and lawmakers make fighting Alzheimer’s a national priority and implement a clear plan for a cure.
Where are we now?
Real progress is being made and the steps we take now will dramatically shape how our nation confronts this crisis. In 2012, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its proposal to increase federal funding for Alzheimer's research by $80 million dollars over the current fiscal year as one of the concrete steps in support of the United States' first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease - a comprehensive roadmap with a bold goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's by 2025.
How do we stop Alzheimer's?
In order to stop Alzheimer's we must:
- Build awareness among our families, friends, and in our communities of the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease;
- Implement a bold plan to stop Alzheimer's;
- Increase funding for Alzheimer's research;
- Speed development of new cures;
- Pressure political leaders to keep their promises to support stopping Alzheimer's disease.
What are the next steps?
For far too long, Alzheimer's disease has been in the shadows. We can stop Alzheimer's by educating others about the stark realities of this disease and the impact it has on our nation. Alzheimer's touches one in three Americans and will cost our nation more than a trillion dollars each year by 2050 if we don't act now. The National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease recommendations, which call for $2 billion in annual funding for research, and budgetary requests made by the Obama Administration show great progress in establishing a bold plan to stop Alzheimer's and provide the funding necessary to speed research and delivery of new cures to patients.
For more information, please visit www.usagainstalzheimers.org.
Five Things You Can Do To Stop Alzheimer’sNext Section: Learn More >
1. Learn The Facts
This toolkit has all the materials you need so you can speak out about the effect of Alzheimer's on you, your family and our nation and what needs to be done to stop this devastating disease. The subsequent sections include information about Alzheimer's disease, the financial cost, and tools and tips to help you speak knowledgeably about why Alzheimer's must be stopped.
2. Organize Others
Activists like you are the engine that powers this movement to stop Alzheimer's. By working within your communities, you are building networks of enraged and engaged activists that will help propel this movement forward. Visit www.usagainstalzheimers.org to find out about the urgent, specific ways to join the fight. Also, make sure you're signed up to get breaking news and tips for how to help US stop Alzheimer's. Don't forget to contact family, friends and organizations in your community about the devastating impact of Alzheimer's and enlist their help in the fight against this disease.
3. Share Your Story
Connecting with your network - friends, family and organizations in your local community - about Alzheimer's disease is a great way to engage others in the fight. One in three families is affected by Alzheimer's, and hearing your story will empower your friends and neighbors to get involved, too. Share your story of how Alzheimer's has affected your life and ask family and friends to do the same. Together, we can show lawmakers the terrible toll this disease takes on families.
4. Pressure Policymakers
Calling or writing your members of Congress is a great way to influence their opinion on issues and legislation. It only takes a few minutes and is an easy way to educate policymakers and urge them to join you in stopping Alzheimer's disease.
5. Write a Letter to the Editor (LTE)
Communicate with your local press to educate others about the devastating effects of Alzheimer's and recruit others to join our efforts. Responding to a previous article by writing a letter to the editor (LTE) can be an effective way to communicate this message in your community.
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