This Thursday, September 19th, I have a HUGE task.
I have been invited to participate in a Roundtable discussion about Living with Alzheimer’s. In Washington D.C. In front of live media and with them taping me. Did I mention this would be live? And taped?
On the roundtable panel are doctors, researchers, executives, ceo’s, founders, authors and another caregiver. And me. I am representing Younger Onset Alzheimer’s and caregivers. Me.
How did this happen?
Somedays I don’t think I can put another foot in front of another and don’t see how I can make it through. Now I am pulling myself together, leaving the kids with Jim (that is a worry) and headed to D.C. to be heard. To speak for all of you that write to tell me your stories. I will be speaking for the wife that is changing her husband’s Depends. I will be speaking for the husband that is fighting with doctors just to get his wife diagnosed. I will be speaking about the lack of funding for all of us and how we are losing our homes, our jobs, our savings and the dreams of a better future.
There will be videos. There will be Facebook posts. There will be the releasing of the World Alzheimer’s Report 2013. There will be another roundtable discussion in Europe and another in Asia. (I was not asked to those)
Can I tell you something? I am excited. I am nervous, but I am excited. I am excited about this opportunity and honored I was asked. I am also excited to be heading to D.C. by myself. Alone. I love big cities. And I love being able to hang by myself in a hotel room. Doing whatever I want. Watching whatever I want on TV. One night will be enough away from Frances and Brad. I will be more than ready to get their hugs when I return. Jim is proud. I can tell. He hasn’t said much about it, but I know he is. This is a little different than speaking to a group of caregivers or at a fundraiser. I want to convey to every one there the loneliness, the anguish, the heartbreak and the exhaustion that are behind every statistical number in that report.
I will try my best to make you all proud and to let our voices be heard as one. My friends, this is how a change is going to happen. Remember, it isn’t one lone voice that will change anything; but a chorus that reverberates around and around until it fills every nook and cranny and nothing else can be heard.