Editor’s Note: Registration is open for 2018 Advocacy Day. Join the fight against Alzheimer’s in Olympia!
It’s a great pleasure for me to be here. I just live up on the hill, not too far from here, and I heard all this noise going on so I came down here to see what was going on. Turns out, there is a Walk to End Alzheimer’s! It’s great to be back here again! I was out here a couple years ago to welcome and to help kick off this event. There are just a few points that I want to make before the walk gets started.
First off is that in my own family, my mother-in-law lives with us, because she can’t live alone anymore due to memory loss. It’s early on for her, but it does underscore a little bit of the experience that I know many of you all have in spades. In fact, in Washington State, about 335,000 family and friends act as caregivers and have donated about 382 million hours of unpaid care to their loved one who is living with Alzheimer’s disease.
So I want to say thank you, not only to those who are volunteering and giving up your own time to participate today, but also to those families and friends who tirelessly advocate for and take care of their loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
In Washington State there are over 110,000 people bravely battling Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to more than double due to about 270,000 people by 2040. The reason I give you these numbers is because not only do they underscore the need for the vital work you are doing to raise money in this Walk to End Alzheimer’s, but it also highlights the need for the federal government to build on the momentum set by the groundbreaking 21st Century Cures Act to invest in the innovative research necessary to beat this disease. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and key partners, like the Alzheimer’s Association, so that we can truly end Alzheimer’s. I remain committed to raising awareness and resources for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research on behalf of you and your loved ones.
Again, it is my great pleasure to be here, and I am excited to see the kick off of the walk. Thanks to the Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association for organizing today’s event, and thanks again to you all for coming out.