Dear Tennessee Star,
I want to publicly thank our Senators, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, and my Congressman, Jim Cooper as well as the other members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation (Rep. Roe, Rep. Duncan, Rep. Fleischmann, Rep. DesJarlais, Rep. Kustoff and Rep. Cohen) for supporting and passing the Bold Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, a bi-partisan legislation that, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, “will combat the Alzheimer’s crisis and create a public health infrastructure to address the disease.”
In 2013 my 63-year-old father, Col.Tom Bowden, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. A retired Army colonel who commanded over 900 soldiers, who was responsible for 36 Pershing II missile launchers with assigned nuclear capable missiles, completed two assignments at the Pentagon, and had a ten-year successful post-military career; no longer knew who he was, where he was, or how to communicate his basic needs. My mother, Barbara Bowden was his care-partner. When he was first diagnosed with AD, his primary care provider said, “it is going to get really bad.” As a result, we immediately enrolled him in clinical studies, researched at-home care, and scoured the internet for the best books to read, wheelchairs, hospital beds and eating utensils to buy. However, many families do not know what to do after diagnosis. The BOLD Act will help educate and inform the 120,000 Tennessee families who are dealing with this life-altering disease bit who currently have no roadmap.
Three months ago my father died at the age of 68 after five-years of struggling with Alzheimer’s disease. His road through AD was disjointed, long and torturous. Although, he had many wonderful doctors along the way; we didn’t always feel prepared as the disease progressed. The BOLD Act will enable families to obtain an early and more accurate diagnosis, provide a road map for continuum of care and provide much needed support to caregivers, who are often overlooked. Utilizing the existing public health infrastructure to increase awareness of the disease, creating centers for excellence around the country and collecting data will improve early and accurate diagnosis, which will hopefully bring improved quality of life for those with AD. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act is a necessary step in finding a cause, a prevention and ultimately a cure to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Thank you to the Senator Alexander, Senator Corker and Representative Cooper for your support. Your vote for the BOLD Act brought hope and will have an impact on the 5.7 million Americans struggling with Alzheimer’s disease.
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