|Cathy & I headed to ALZ Forum 2016|
I have never been to an Alzheimer’s forum. The first time I heard about this was through my Nevada Policy Committee Team. I am so glad that I went to Forum in 2016! It was very educational, and I was able to connect with others that had experience with Alzheimer’s/dementia.
|Team Nevada! Representing Nevada for the ALZ Forum 2016|
My journey for forum all started when I happened to be on the same flight as my awesome teammate Cathy. Cathy and I were able to spend time getting to know one another. I got to hear her personal story about her mother and how Alzheimer's has effected her and her family. Every time I heard a story about Alzheimer's, it reminded me of why I volunteer and do what I do for the cause.
Monday April 4th I attended the “First Timers” program for forum. I listened to speakers, John Funderburk, The Director of Advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association, Matthew Baumgart, and The Senior Director of Public Policy for the Alzheimer’s Association. Last but not least, the ending speaker Stephanie Vance, 25 year veteran of the Washington D.C. political scene. I enjoyed her the best.
The evening event had speaker Bob Marino, Member at large of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM). http://alzimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/AIM-Factsheet-2015-web.pdf
|Nancy Nelson, Author Blue River Apple.|
She is living with Alzheimer's.
The two most memorable “State Roll Calls” were Brandon Barkwell “Brandon Barkwell, 15, has attended two Advocacy Forums. His father, Brian, was diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's in his late ‘40s, when Brandon was 5.” Being a mom of a son and having experience with Alzheimer’s, my heart sank when Brandon spoke about his dad. I felt so broken for him. Later on, at forum I saw him and I had to give him a hug and commend him on for his courage.
|Team Nevada-State Roll Call!|
The other memorable “State Roll Call” was a gentleman around 40s or early 50s. I can not recall his name. I believe he was representing the State of Arizona. I can recall crying as he spoke. He was living with Alzheimer’s. He struggled with his speech and his wife was there to guide. She pointed out the words on the paper one by one. At the end of his roll call the whole audience stood up and cheered for him.
|Young Advocates Networking Group Photo.|
This was great, because I got to meet individuals my age that all have or had a personal connections to Alzheimer’s. I especially enjoyed meeting Brent Oldham, YPAAL Advocacy Chair for Lansing county @YPAALMichigan and Terry Steetman, Co-Chair /Co-Founder of YPAAL of Lansing county. These two gentleman were also a hoot to hang out with. I am so proud that they are both bringing awareness to Alzheimer’s
|Fellow sister queen, Christine Williamson, Miss Mountain Empire, for MAO-Miss Tennessee 2016|
|Jessica Rothhaar, Manager, Policy and Advocacy, Alzheimer's Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada. Demonstrating the "Ask"|
Tuesday April 5th was a very busy day. Presentations were provided on this day as well as break out training “Ask” sessions. The first meeting was for AIM. AIM stands for the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement. It was put together separate from the Alzheimer’s association to support both political parties who are advocates for Alzheimer’s. This was followed up by a General session on Capitol Hill, followed by a group lunch. We had guest speaker Charlie Cook, political analyst, commentator and publisher of The Cook Political Report. He was very comical and I enjoyed listening to him; however my highlight from my group lunch was meeting Nancy Nelson www.BlueRiverApple.com She and I had a lovely conversation. When I asked her about her connection with Alzheimer’s she looked at me and said “I have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.” Meeting her was defiantly a highlight because having an individual speak on their own experience with the disease will help break stigmas. I firmly believe that speaking out on this disease is powerful, and lots of caregivers have come forward to speak up and share their story, but the most powerful way to get the message across to the world is to have an individual who has the disease talk about it. It will break your heart, but it will also inspire you.
|Pamela Brown, CNN Justice Correspondent & I|
Our afternoon was filled with our second training for “Advocacy for the Federal Ask” followed by Stat Caucuses. Then it was off to get ready for the national dinner.
National Alzheimer’s Dinner was a real delight. The Emcee was Pamela Brown, CNN’s Justice Correspondent covering law enforcement. There were guest speakers from caregivers to individuals who shared their story in several minutes with their loved ones photo on two giant projectors in the room. These individuals brought more personal experience to the cause. Each story unique. Each background different. I want to commend the Alzheimer’s Association for having a wide range of individuals. We had a same sex couple speak, older gentleman, younger women. The bottom line is that Alzheimer’s does not discriminate against age, sex, religion, color, or political status.
|National Stage for the ALZ Dinner|
|Terry Steetman, Co-Chair /Co-Founder of YPAAL of Lansing county Brent Oldham, YPAAL Advocacy Chair for Lansing county & I.|
The dinner concluded with several awards.
The Alzheimer's Association Champion Award, This award honors an individual, organization or company whose actions have promoted greater understanding of Alzheimer's disease and its effects on diagnosed individuals, families and caregivers.
The Alzheimer's Association Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award
|Actress and Author, Kimberly Williams-Paisley|
|Award Winners' Kimberly Williams Paisley & her father|
The Alzheimer's Impact Movement Humanitarian of the Year Award
The Humanitarian Award is an annual award bestowed upon a public official that has made a significant policy contribution to advancements in research and enhanced care and support for people with Alzheimer's disease.
Wednesday April 6th- Capital Hill Day!
Meeting two with Senator Dean Heller's office
|Team Nevada! Cathy, Jacob & I waiting to go|
into Amodei's office.
|Team Nevada- Washington D.C. Alzheimer's forum 2016|