Letter: A plea for funding of Alzheimer's research

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My husband, Dan Wartenberg, who is only 64, will die from Alzheimer’s disease before there is a treatment. Dan, formerly an internationally renowned professor of public health, now has trouble answering his phone. I grieve that Congress failed to allocate enough money for research that might have helped him.

Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed. Dan will die from this disease because our country has not made Alzheimer’s research a priority. For every $100 the National Institutes of Health spends on research, Medicare and Medicaid spend $16,000 to care for Dan and more than five million others with Alzheimer’s.

You as a taxpayer should share my distress about this spending imbalance. In 2016 your tax dollars contributed to more than $100 billion spent by Medicare and Medicaid caring for Dan and others with the disease.

Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree successfully advocated for more funding for Alzheimer’s research. Despite their efforts, the National Institutes of Health does not receive nearly enough funding to achieve the goal of a cure by 2025.

What can you do? Write or call your government representatives to support more Alzheimer’s research funding. Even a one-line letter will count. Five minutes of your time might lead to a cure in time for someone you love.

Caron Chess
Peaks Island