by: Claire Poirier
Mind Over Matter.
It’s a phrase we have all heard countless times. Personally, my mother, Jane used to advise me with this saying, whether I would be complaining about going to the dentist, or, in a letter during my first year at overnight camp where I was terribly homesick. If you think back to any challenge you have faced, mind over matter has brought you to where you are now. Mind over matter means the ability to use your mind’s willpower to overcome an obstacle.
September 1st marked the beginning of the third World Alzheimer’s Month, a month dedicated to spreading the word about Alzheimer’s. It is said that 44 million people in the world have Alzheimer’s and other related dementias, diseases to which there is no cure. That means 44 million people in the world don’t have the ability to completely halt the progression of this disease. They have no hope. If we all band together and use our willpower to not only change the stigma, but change the future of our world, we could give hope to the millions Alzheimer’s sufferers.
When looking up statistics to clearly paint a picture of how Alzheimer’s is progressing in society, I read through the 2014 Alzheimer’s disease Facts and Figures. Between the years 2000-2008 the death rate associated with Alzheimer’s grew from 18.1% to 25.8% that is a 9.7% growth, with no cure found to this day. Not only is it morbidly depressing for the victims, but equally for the caregivers who, day-in-day-out are constantly reminded of their loved ones, haunted by their physical appearance, only to be disheartened to realize that the memories of the person have disappeared.
Seth Rogen put it perfectly when he spoke in front of the U.S. Congress this year:
“The third reason I’m here, simply, is to show people that they are not alone. So few people share their personal stories, so few people have something to relate to. I know that if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this it would probably make us feel a little less alone. Americans whisper the word Alzheimer’s because their government whispers the word Alzheimer’s. And although a whisper is better than the silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
This is World Alzheimer’s Awareness month! Yell it, scream it, tweet it! Get the word out; let’s shatter the stigma that this is an old person’s disease with no hope. It affects all of us and we must come together, to work on a cure! Mind over matter, or should I say mind over Alzheimer’s!