Monday, August 27, 2007

Great meeting and bad news

We returned late last night from Chicago where we had our first meeting of the Early Stage Advocacy Group for the Alzheimer's Association. Fourteen people with Early Stage Alzheimer's had been selected to serve on this committee. We have had a conference call to get to know each other a little better, but this weekend was the first time that all of us actually got to meet each other (except one who had another committment). I was not sure what to expect. Let's say that I was overwhelmed at the other people on this committment. What top notch people to be serving on an advisory board such as this.

The committee is composed of three women and eleven men. We have retired architects, doctors, IT specialists, banking and finance executives, artists, musicians -- you name it. I'm not sure that I quite measure up to everyone but I'm certainly going to do my best. I was so impressed by this group and I am certainly honored to be among them.

One of the members of our committee is still working and he is a police chief in a small town in Central Illinois -- not far from where I am originally from. He is very articulate. He has gotten a lot of national press because there is curiosity out there about him having Alzheimer's and carrying a weapon. I would be more than happy to rely on him for my defense if I ever needed it!

And, he said, after one of our meetings, that he felt that he has found a whole new community and lifelong friends after meeting for just a few hours. I whole heartedly agree with that and am certainly looking forward to working on the tasks put before us.

Those tasks will be many as there are things to be looked at like advocacy work, programming and awareness. I appreciate the Alzheimer's Association so much for asking us to do this and getting our feedback.

Now as to the bad news -- A new drug called Alzhamed has been in clinical trials for some time and many of us have been hoping that this drug would be a big breakthrough in treatment. The optimistic side of this drug was that it had the potential to help slow the progession of Alzheimer's. Well, the trials have not shown these results and basically the drug is not an option. There are some other drugs in the pipeline, but much further down the pipeline -- we were all hoping for such great things. It's very sad news.

Here is a link to a news story about it

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