Bill Gates’ newest mission: Curing Alzheimer’s

Last week Alzheimer’s got a huge boost. Billionaire Bill Gates said he is investing $50 million of his own money into the Dementia Discovery Fund, a private-public research partnership focused on some of the more novel ideas about what drives the brain disease, such as looking at a brain cell’s immune system. It’s the first time Gates has made a commitment to a noncommunicable disease. The work done through his foundation has focused primarily on infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and polio.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, where a new case is diagnosed every 66 seconds. More than 5 million Americans live with the disease, at a cost of $259 billion a year. Without any treatment, those numbers are projected to explode to 16 million Americans with the disease, at a cost of over $1 trillion a year, by 2050. And for Gates, this mission is personal having people in his family affected by this disease.

With his donation, Gates hopes to spur research into more novel ideas about the disease, like investigating the role of the glial cells that activate the immune system of the brain or how the energy lifespan of a cell may contribute to the disease. He believes that it will be a combination of mainstream and out-of-the-box thinking that will lead to potential treatments in the near future.
For those of us in the Alzheimer’s space, any and all awareness and financial resources are greatly welcomed, but to have a financial and philanthropic powerhouse such as Gates now in the fight, we’re most optimistic.
For the full interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, go here.

Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement’s Challenge 66

On November 1st the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement launched Challenge  66, a month-long campaign to encourage you to leading a brain-healthy lifestyle.

Every 66 seconds a new brain develops Alzheimer’s. This challenge asks you to take 66 seconds to do something that stops the clock on Alzheimer’s. Get moving, get friends to join in, spread the word, share your story on social media with #Challenge66 and have fun. Lets work together to #endalz!

Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement™, founded by Maria Shriver, is a global alliance of individuals, organizations, researchers, foundations, influencers and industry leaders committed to finding out why Alzheimer’s discriminates against women. We believe that by answering the question of why women are disproportionately affected by Alzheimer’s, we will unlock the other mysteries surrounding this mind-blowing disease and that will lead to a cure for all. Learn more about them here.

To download the challenge, click on the link: Challenge 66 

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness & Family Caregiver Month

Another November is here and another November where advocates and families of loved ones with Alzheimer’s or those serving as Caregivers to someone with Alz is in the continues trenches for a cure. We’re always at work, but November, our dedicated month is time to shine brighter, walk further, and  advocate harder.

My day one was spent doing social media outreach, networking and letting people on those outlets to look out, because I will be bombarding them with information. But not bombarding you all mindlessly, but to hopefully to provide information that will be enlightening, empowering, and of course mixed in with some fun.

I also listened to most of the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement’s live stream today ( I was at work so I had to listen when I could, LOL). Great panelists, great information, some I was able to jot down quickly and for what I missed, I will go back and get. If you missed it I caught it on Maria Shriver’s Facebook page.

It’s only day one, and I know how I can get, I want to keep going and going as ideas and to-do’s pop into my head. I’m in full-on information overload, which I need to sort out to bring you the best information that I can. And in the meantime, I wish you all a healthful brain day and month.




Why?…. A Revisit

*** November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Caregivers Month. While I’m gearing up to be my best next month, I wanted to share again, from seven years ago, on why I started this mission. My post appropriately is called “Why”.


In the past two years my life has seen some incredible changes, losses, gains, opportunities and harsh realities. And being a writer, yes I can stand firm on that statement now; several people have said I need to write about my life experiences. Mainly about what has become the hardest thing in my life; being a full-time caregiver to my mother who has Alzheimer’s.

I was given the great idea by several people to write about my experience, but when it came time to put pen to paper or rather fingers to keyboard, my head would start swirling and I couldn’t find myself to do it. I LOVE to write, I believe I’m good at it and Lord knows I always have something to say or to contribute, but I couldn’t find it within myself to write about this.  After some self-analysis, I realized it was hard for several reasons. For one if I wrote on how I truly felt, some people’s feelings may get hurt in reading my blog, secondly, my emotions were too great most times and I’d find myself, upset, angry and crying; all things which have made me a heck of a poet, but was a block and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about what has been all consuming in my life. I needed an outlet away from caregiving and writing about it put me right where I didn’t want to be. But they say the best thing is to write about what you know.

After more whispers from people, I decided to take their advice and convince myself to do it. I’m still angry. Alzheimer’s is a hell of a disease, and I know there are many great programs such as the Alzheimer’s Association for information and advice. But I’m angry because in keeping it real, too much is sugar-coated and there is such a lack of true help (physically and financially) for caregivers. That latter part is why I decided a few months ago to form a foundation for caregivers (details forthcoming).

As I’m stepping my toe into the water, I hope I can be a voice of strength and a shoulder to lean on for other caregivers and that this blog can grow to be an outlet of information and a place for understanding. I’m not here to bash anyone or any organization, but in keeping it real, maybe I can give some light to those who say they understand and have empathy, but truly don’t know how life is because they haven’t experienced being a caretaker.  Whether it’s caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, cancer, aids, stroke or other health related issues, I know my experience is and will be different from someone else’s, but there are several shared experiences and emotions and hopefully this will let others know we’re not alone. Hang on help is here!!

Thank you for taking this journey with me…until my next post.