Mr. ROSKAM. Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my support for the ongoing efforts of this body and the American people to conquer the devastating disease of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's is one of the top 10 causes of death in America, and the only one without a way to prevent, cure, or even slow its progression. While death rates from diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and breast cancer have fallen since the year 2000, deaths from Alzheimer's have increased by 66 percent.
Alzheimer's disease affects over 5 million Americans who are cared for by more than 15 million caregivers. These caregivers shoulder the heavy burden of caring for their loved ones and forgoing paid positions while watching the disease progress without the possibility of a cure.
I have several constituents who have been impacted by this disease but two stand out for me personally. Cathy and her daughter Grace have been tireless advocates for their cause. Cathy's husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's and she has seen the effects up close. Each year they have taken time out of their schedules to travel to DC and as well as my district office to update me on her husband's condition and express their hopes that we can get closer to curing this awful disease. Grace has even taken her advocacy to the Roll Call Forum to speak on her mother and father's behalf. This is why I support the National Alzheimer's Plan.