My name is Dr. Poneh Davoodi Heine, and I am an Allergist at the Allergy, Asthma &Sinus Center. I feel extremely honored to be given the opportunity to participate in this meaningful event. Alzheimer’s has touched my family personally as it has many others.I was raised in a family with two immigrant, hard-working parents who were doing their best to provide for our family so that my brother and I could lead successful lives. Since my parents were constantly working, my grandmother helped raise both my brother and me. As the matriarch of our family, she took us to school and to all our extracurricular activities. She was our listener, our friend and truly a second mother to us. About fifteen years ago, she began to be affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and it drastically changed all our lives. I will never forget the first time I noticed her symptoms at my engagement party. She did not know where she was even though the party was at her home. I had to watch the strongest woman in my life rely on us to help her now. Her deterioration was absolutely heartbreaking. My mom and her siblings spent the past fifteen years trying to make sense of this illness. Given our position as medical professionals, they asked my brother and me questions that we struggled to answer. What can we do? Is there a medicine to slow this down? Is this going to happen to us? My grandmother passed away one year ago, and I still cannot truly answer these questions, even as a physician. I recognize that I need to contribute to the efforts to find these answers.
I have learned a tremendous amount about the Alzheimer’s Association through one of my dear friends. I am honored to be given this opportunity to raise awareness for such an amazing cause. We are close to a cure, and I truly believe we will get there. I desire a world in which my children will not have to go through what my mother, her siblings, and the rest of our family did.
I am dancing for my grandmother. I am dancing for my mother and her siblings who tirelessly cared for her. I am dancing for my children who wonder if this will happen to their grandmother or me. I am dancing for the 6 million people who are affected by Alzheimer’s today. I am dancing for their families, caregivers and medical professionals. Please join me in these efforts to end Alzheimer’s by making a donation to this worthy cause.
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