One of the many things I get excited about here at Dot is the level of giving and charitable support that all of you display on a daily basis. This is nothing to say of the time and talent that many of you give on a weekly basis to your causes that have nothing to do with our programs.
As all of you know, we are now in the process of introducing a companywide Alzheimer's Awareness/Support campaign. We believe this fits all the criteria listed above and is obviously personal based on the impact this disease on our founders, Robert and Dorothy Tracy. The Tracy family has engaged in this for a long time, but when I asked the question to many of our senior managers as to whether there would be support from the employee base for an overall corporate campaign, there was an enthusiastic response.
Our most important objective is to educate as many of our employees and their families as possible on dementia, in general, and Alzheimer's, specifically. Based on our personal experience and national statistics, we know this disease has a huge impact not only on the individual who is suffering, but almost as much on the caregivers and families.
Alzheimer's is the No. 6 cause of death in the U.S. which I think would surprise most. Through family and friends, Alzheimer's impacts 1 out of every 6 people, with 5 million individuals directly affected by the disease and 15 million as caregivers. Unfortunately, most of us don't know how to manage the disease or where to get support. Our first objective is to educate on the disease so that we can all look for early signs and then increase awareness on all of the services and support that the National Alzheimer's Association can provide to all of our employees in every area of the country.
None of the Tracy family members will ever forget the unconditional love, care, support and commitment that Mom made to Dad as he endured the better part of eight years living with the disease. We were lucky to have the resources and large number of family members to provide additional support and help. Most don't have either of those, and one or maybe two family members' bears the ultimate care and sacrifice.
We hope that all of you will take some time to learn more about the disease, the impact and the signs. We want to increase awareness, as I would guess that almost everyone reading this has been impacted by a family or friend. We have faith you will get engaged and involved in our campaign to help provide support to improve the services nationally. We also hope you can help fund the research that is necessary to start down the path of a cure. The reality is there is no cure for Alzheimer's now, and all we can do today is slow down the decline..
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