"Early Detection Matters" Project Wins $1.5 million From American Express
The American Express Members Project has just announced the winner for 2008: Alzheimer's Disease: Early Detection Matters, submitted by American Express card member Jay Smith and the fulfilling organization, the Alzheimer's Association. This project, which received 24,101 votes, will garner $1.5 million for the project.
Early Detection Matters was initially submitted by Smith, whose wife, Patty, was diagnosed at the age of 51 after two years of uncertainty. "It took more than two years for my wife to obtain a correct medical diagnosis, so we decided to do everything we can to increase early detection of Alzheimer's, stop the progression of the disease and help others along the way," Smith said. "The final stages of the disease are ravaging for the patient and caregiver. We can reduce that suffering by increasing knowledge about the early warning signs and importance of early detection, so people have the opportunity to plan for their future and take advantage of the resources that are currently available to them."
The following is what was Smith submitted to the American Express Members Project website:
The earlier people are diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the sooner they can get the help they need. Too few people know the ten early warning signs, and they need to understand when memory loss becomes a problem. I need your help to create and implement an education program to show the importance of seeking an early diagnosis of Alzheimer's, a progressive and fatal disease.
The Problem I'm Addressing:
About 5 million people are living with Alzheimer's, but about 1/2 have not been diagnosed. Families are not financially prepared, lose their quality of life and are unable to cherish important moments. Alzheimer's is a growing epidemic expected to affect 16 million Americans by 2050. It has a huge financial impact on families and our healthcare system. The cause is not known and there is no cure. There are early warning signs and things you can do today with an early diagnosis.
The Impact My Project Will Have:
Alzheimer's has a huge financial impact on society and on businesses. Our health care system will not sustain the future costs of care for the increasing number with the disease. The impact this project will have on families is also huge. Early diagnosis gives time to plan and find treatment options. Help me motivate Americans to seek diagnosis early, giving people options for treatment and a better quality of life.
Congratulations to Jay Smith and the Alzheimer's Association for suggesting and advocating for this project!