It’s hopeless.

If you’ve known someone – loved someone – who’s suffered through Alzheimer’s Disease, you know it’s hopeless.

If you’ve seen “Still Alice,” “The Notebook” or “Iris,” you know it’s hopeless. These are wonderful, enduring films, but they’re about a hopeless condition.

Alzheimer’s is a sort of dementia. It expunges memories. It hinders thinking. It shakes behavior. The symptoms sneak up slowly. They get worse. They worsen still.

My grandmother. My aunt. They’d loved me and then didn’t know me.

Alzheimer’s is gut-wrenching, infuriating and wretched. For those who battle it. For those who love the ones battling it, hold their hands and pray. For those who hope – even though it’s hopeless.

It’s hopeless.

But it’s not. Because researchers are climbing toward the cure. Because volunteers are working to sooth the pain. Because advocates are reminding us every day. Because we continue to love the people who used to know us.

There’s Reason to Hope.

On April 19, the Alzheimer’s Association of West Virginia is hosting a Reason to Hope Luncheon. It honors individuals who’ve refused to believe it’s hopeless.

The Legacy Award will go to Senator Shelley Moore Capito, has championed and pushed legislation that supports the 5.4 million Americans and 37,000 West Virginia’s living with the disease. Her bipartisan effort is even called “HOPE.” The Health Outcomes, Planning and Education for Alzheimer’s Act. It requires Medicare to provide early assessment, information about the disease and treatment options.

She’s seen the disease firsthand. She knows.

“Having experienced the challenges of caring for parents with Alzheimer’s, I understand the difficulties that caregivers and family members face,” she’s said. “We need to do more to improve the diagnosis of this disease and educate Americans about treatment options.”

And Susie Casto. She’ll receive the Champion of Hope award. Each year, she Walks in memory of friends and family who’ve died.

Susie has seen it, too. Her “almost-sister” – her sister-in-law. Her husband’s mother. She’s watched the disease take and take. And so she’s worked with the Alzheimer’s Association for years, serving on boards and volunteering. She leads support groups for those facing it.

“It has touched our lives in so many ways,” she’s said about Alzheimer’s.

Isn’t she talking about hope, too, though?

Hope has touched the lives of everyone who’s faced this horrible disease.

If you’ve looked into the eyes of someone with Alzheimer’s, you’ve seen a world without Alzheimer’s.

It is not hopeless.

For more information about the Reason to Hope Luncheon, contact Nikki Kinder at 304.343.2717 or nkinder@alz.org.

Individual Tickets are available for $50 and can be purchased by phone 304.343.2717 or at this link.

2017 Reason to Hope Luncheon Tickets

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