MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar) – Nearly 6 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and 400,000 of them are Texans.
The Alzheimer’s Association offers 24/7 support and several resources to help families and those living with the disease.
We spoke with the Director of Development at the West Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association and she shared with us the importance of learning more about the disease and the difference early diagnosis can make in catching Alzheimer’s at its early stages.
“From the associatons standpoint, it is critical to have those conversations with your primary care physician if you’re noticing some things,” said Julie Gray, Director of Development.
After the approval of the FDA drug that could slow down the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, Julie tells us that the news of this drug being tested made her come to tears.
“Honestly I cried on Monday when they announced this decision because it is absolutely groundbreaking.”
While the drug is in it’s trial phases, advocates and family members who’ve lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s are hopeful that this drug will end the fight to this disease.
To comfort those living with Alzheimers, non-profits like Angie’s Babies and Jerry’s Puppies help bring the joy and memory of a better time back.
Angies Babies Founder, Julie Gray and Co-Founder Mary Wright-McCourt gave out hundreds of baby dolls to women during Mother’s Day weekend to nursing homes in the Midland/Odessa area in honor of bringing back the joy of motherhood for women suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Angies Babies was created in honor of Julie Gray’s grandmother who lost her fight to Alzheimer’s.
For Father’s Day, Jerry’s Puppies will be given out to men battling Alzheimer’s disease in honor of Mary’s father who loved his 3 dogs dearly. For Jerry, holding the stuffed animal puupies brought back the excitement he had when seeing his dogs every afternoon.
On June 20th, the Alzheimer’s Association of West Texas is holding a fundraiser to spread awareness about this life-threatening disease. The “Longest Day” event gets it’s name from being held on the same day as the Summer Solstice.
For more ways to get involved with the Alzheimer’s Association, check out their website.