Hello and welcome to my fundraising page. My name is Cherie O’Neil and I am super excited about competing in this season’s gala. It is going to be a fun evening of sharing our love for ballroom dancing and Broadway musicals. More importantly, it will be an event to pay tribute to our loved ones and friends who are suffering or who have lost their lives to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
My experience with Alzheimer’s is both personal and professional. As a daughter, I experienced firsthand the devastation this disease had on my family. My mother had all the classic stages of this illness, starting with seemingly innocent forgetfulness that eventually became confusion, then memory loss, and finally the inability to care for herself. Like other families mine suffered emotionally. It was painful to watch the slow and insidious effects of this disease that robbed my mother of her personality and life and my parents of the years they had hoped to share together. As a healthcare provider, I have seen the emotional and physical toll this illness continues to have on our community. Families struggle as they emotionally try to understand what is happening to their loved ones and are often frustrated and confused by a healthcare system that can be difficult to navigate.
To date, there is no cure for this progressive and terminal disease that currently afflicts one American every 65 seconds. That number is expected to drop to every 33 seconds by 2050 as our population continues to live to advanced age. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the government spends $100 on research for every $28,000 spent for an individual’s care. Clearly, this is not going to slow this growing national epidemic. That’s where you and I come in. Together, we can defy Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia by supporting the work of the Alzheimer’s Association. Your contribution for the 2022 Memory Ball will help to continue to fund the Association’s global research initiatives as well as meeting the increasing demand for direct family support programs.
I’m privileged to be participating in this event as a dancing star, but the real star of this show are individuals like you who understand the urgency to act now. While I hope my performance on April 30th will be worthy of your vote and donation, a vote for any of my fellow contenders will help us move one step closer to understanding and overcoming this disease.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the gala.
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