Dear Extended Family of Alzheimer’s Patients in Medellin, Colombia,
Today, I heard all about you from Dr. Reiman, director of the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. He took time away from his family on a Sunday afternoon to tell me about yours.
Dios, your story and struggle es muy dificil y triste. Five thousand of you have inherited a single mutation of early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Some of you get AD at age 32, most of you have full-blown AD by age 50. Because there are no assisted living facilities where you are, family members unaffected by the disease are your caregivers. Mamas are simultaneously taking care of their parents, husbands and children with the most treacherous form of AD.
Hang tight, la gente de mi corazon, help is on the way. And ironically your extraordinary predicament may wind up helping us all. Beau would be delighted to share your story, and to learn that your genetic history may open doors and minds around the world.
Dr. Reiman believes you may be the key to treating this disease. Your family is the perfect group to test drugs that have the potential to destroy beta-amyloid plaque. What has been missing in AD research is a control group: People with the same set of bio-markers. You, the worst sufferers may hold the best answers. (See the full story in the New York Times. ) Because of you, studies of treatments can be fast-tracked and run simultaneously. Exactly what researchers, the FDA, and the drug companies need. Following your family may change the course of Alzheimer’s.
In the meantime, you have needs. One of them is adult diapers for your family members. Considering the fact that your suffering could potentially solve the mystery of this disease, I think—-AT THE VERY LEAST—–the rest of us owe you those diapers.
Por favor, mi amigos y familia, let’s help this family as if they were our own. We need to get 30,000 adult diapers to Colombia every three months. Let’s put our thinking caps on for those who have lost their memories. Help me find a way.
Si, we can.