On September 2, 2010, right in the middle of the U.S. Open, I lost my beloved mother, Paula Shmerler, to the ravages of Alzheimer's disease. In our case, Mom's mind dissolved long before her body did and, by the end, we believe she was unaware of how dire her situation was. But we'll never truly know since so much about Alzheimer's is still unknown. After Mom's passing at just 81 years old I vowed to her, and to my dear father, Edwin, that I would do everything I can to help eradicate Alzheimer's and other dementias. There is simply nothing worse than watching a loved one forget your name, look past you with glazed-over eyes, lose the ability to speak and, quite simply, wither away in front of you.
Right now, some six million Americans are living with the disease. That's a million more than when I first started my crusade 10 years ago!!! Since the pandemic began there has been a 16 percent increase in dementia deaths. Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only disease in the top ten that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed. In this year alone, the cost of caring for patients with Alzheimer's in this country will total $259 billion. Between 2000 and 2019, deaths from heart disease have decreased 7.3 percent while deaths from Alzheimer's disease have increased a staggering 145 percent. If you don't already know someone suffering from this disease, you will soon. It is a sad, unescapable fact that, as we age, we can't escape. Even worse, two-thirds of Alzheimer's sufferers are women, though we don't know why. We simply must do something now!
It is because of my passion and commitment to helping fund research to find a cure, or at least treatments, for Alzheimer's that I will be walking with my family in this year's Westchester Walk to End Alzheimer's at SUNY-Purchase on Sunday, October 3. Last year, as the pandemic raged, we held a Virtual Walk so it will be wonderful to come back together this year. If you live locally, we'd love to have you come walk with us! But, more important, I am asking you all to contribute generously to the Alzheimer's Association in honor of my Walk and in memory of my parents. Sadly, Alzheimer's was here long before Covid-19 and it will be here long after Covid-19. With your help, maybe, just maybe, we can find our First Survivor.
Much love and thanks,
Thank you for helping advance Alzheimer's support, care and research.
I have raised
Elite Grand Champion