Advocate Profile – Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett

When Paul Barrett attended his first Alzheimer's Association® Advocacy Forum, he arrived thinking he was fairly informed about Alzheimer's disease. His wife, Diana, had been diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's five years prior, and Paul was her primary caregiver until shortly before the Forum. He attended support groups and was involved with the Alzheimer's Association Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter. Yet, what he learned at the Forum shocked him.

"It was a real eye-opener," he recalls. "I was stunned to learn how our country is going to be impacted by Alzheimer's, and how few people understand the disease and what it's going to do to us. That's when I decided to get involved."

Paul became active with his chapter's advocacy efforts, writing letters, sending emails and manning booths at health fairs. Today, Paul also serves as an Alzheimer's Association Ambassador, updating his Congressman on the latest statistics and policy issues.

Though that first Forum was sobering because Paul realized how much work lies ahead, it was also inspiring and rejuvenating. And that's why he keeps coming back year after year. "I think it's important for people to realize you're not alone in this fight. There's this powerful organization that is fighting hard to make this situation better, and there are all these people who feel the same way you do. It feels good to be a part of that."

 

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Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum 2014

www.alz.org/forum

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