The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the importance of medical research. As Congress addresses the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable, they’re also working to address another disease affecting millions of Americans — Alzheimer’s.

My family has been impacted by Alzheimer’s. My mom suffered for over ten years. I watched my dad struggle to meet the demands of caretaking, while also navigating the emotional, physical, and financial stress Alzheimer’s puts on families. Sadly, in June of 2020, we lost my mom to this disease.

Today, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, a number expected to triple by 2050. In Oregon, 69,000 people are suffering from Alzheimer’s and that is projected to rise to 84,000 by 2025. Without medical breakthroughs, this number will continue to rise.

Representative Bonamici can play an important role in addressing this issue. By increasing funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research at the National Institutes of Health by $289 million, Representative Bonamici could provide millions of Americans a sense of hope.

With these increases, scientists can work quicker to advance basic disease knowledge, explore ways to reduce risk, uncover new biomarkers for early diagnosis and drug targeting, and make discoveries that can lead to a treatment or cure. We can’t afford not to fund research.

As our nation continues its collective focus in 2021 on keeping people safe and healthy, it is time to honor the requests of scientists for additional funding so they can bring hope to millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s.

Kelly Kalkofen


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