Alzheimer’s Insights Please, take my job away

Published 2:43 pm Saturday, October 12, 2019

I work for an organization where our mission is to one day work ourselves out of a job.

I work for the Alzheimer’s Association.

You see, our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s.®  Imagine what that would mean.

No more lives lost to this terrible disease.

No more caregiver support groups.

No more watching as a loved one slowly slips from your grasp.

No more – well, put your own “no more” in here.

The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association was incorporated on April 10, 1980, in Chicago.  The organization’s father is Jerome H. Stone.  Stone’s wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 1970.  At the time, very little was known about the disease.  Stone joined up with seven independent groups who wanted to form a national organization to fight the disease. 

The Association is a non-profit volunteer-driven health organization and is the largest non-profit funder of Alzheimer’s disease research in the world.  In fact, only two other entities spend more on Alzheimer’s research – the governments of the United States and China.

 In the Association’s first year, the sum of $13 million was provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to get research going. In 2019, the NIH is expected to spend $2.3 billion on Alzheimer’s research.   In 1982, President Ronald Reagan (who would later die of Alzheimer’s related conditions) called for the first-ever National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Week.

The Association is now active in all 50 states, and funds hundreds of millions of dollars in research around the globe.  Texas is so large that it has six chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Alzheimer’s is the only leading cause of death in the nation that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.  The only hope in changing this is through research.

Alzheimer’s disease does not care who you are.   It is, sadly, an equal opportunity disease.   It strikes people as young as their 40’s, all the way up through their 60’s.  It take people close to you, it takes people you’ve never heard of, and it takes those whose talents you’ve enjoyed, among them:

  • Singer Glen Campbell
  • Actor Charles Bronson
  • Actor Charlton Heston
  • Singer Perry Como
  • Artist Norman Rockwell
  • Actress Rita Hayworth
  • Boxer Sugar Ray Robinson
  • Actor Peter Falk
  • Actor Burgess Meredith
  • Actress Estelle Getty
  • Actor Eddie Albert
  • Actor Jimmy Stewart
  • Actor James Doohan

There are many more, of course.  Johnny Crawford, who played the young son on “The Rifleman” TV series with Chuck Connors, is now 72 years old and diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Help us stop this disease.  Volunteer with your local chapter.  Help in fundraising events.  Help raise awareness of Alzheimer’s.

And someday, you may help to take my job away.

If you have questions, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900 for more information.


The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s®. For more information, visit or call the 24/7 helpline at 800-272-3900.


Scott Finley is Media Relations Manager for the Alzheimer’s Association® in Texas.  He can be reached at