Alzheimer’s Doesn’t Stop His Words from Being Featured in the Congressional Record
Michael Ellenbogen, diagnosed with younger onset dementia at age 49, wastes no time using what abilities he has left. As an advocate, author, and spokesperson, he campaigns passionately to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s. He was featured in The Caregiver’s Voice VOICES with Dementia – Michael Ellenbogen: Alzheimer’s Advocate on the Move.
For a third time, his words are included in the Congressional Record thanks to the Honorable Michael Fitzpatrick of the United States House of Representatives. Click on image for full-sized copy at Congress.gov site. The following is excerpted from what Mr. Ellenbogen wrote.
I am so thankful to be still here. Many of my friends who were living with dementia have died and others are no longer capable of speaking. I am one of the lucky ones. My Alzheimer’s is progressing very slowly.
While that is good news it is also bad news. I will be forced to endure the worst part of this disease even longer than most. Knowing what I know now that will be like being tortured until I die. While I try to stay positive these days and live life to the fullest, I am in pain every day from the frustration of not being able to be the person I was once. I continue to decline to a childlike state.
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s, is the most expensive disease we face. It is costing us more than heart disease and cancer. It is the third cause of death in the United States; more than 500,000 people die from Alzheimer’s each year…
If you have not yet been touched by this devastating and debilitating disease, it’s just a matter of time.
Please reference the Congressional Record for Ellenbogen’s complete message. A PDF will open.
Some have considered a dementia diagnosis a gift. I’m not suggesting they welcome such a diagnosis. After shock and withdrawal, some realize their time is limited and they take steps to make every moment count. What an inspiration. Congratulations Michael!