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Fundraiser breakfast for Utahn's impacted by Alzheimer's Disease

A fundraising breakfast was held this morning for Alzheimer's disease at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper.

DRAPER, Utah – A fundraiser breakfast was held Wednesday for Alzheimer's disease at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium in Draper.

Alzheimer's affects thousands of Utahn's and proceeds from the breakfast will benefit not only those diagnosed with the disease but also caregiver’s right here in Utah.

“It's been a very nice experience for me to be her caretaker and I’ve been doing it the last 6 years. It progresses, it doesn't get easier, but I think it's very important thing,” said Merrill Cook a former Utah Congressman

Cook whose full time job was being involved with politics is now a full time caretaker for his wife Camille who is in the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. Showing his support for the disease, Cook admits there are challenges that come along with being a caretaker,  but it's worth it.

“Even though she's in this condition she doesn't know what's happening or who people are she still loves the sunsets, she loves the smell of those flowers, she loves walking in the back yard with me,” said Cook.

The former Congressman’s wife Camille isn't alone in her battle. According to the Alzheimer's Association more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease. “We know there is about 28,000 in the state, the challenge is most people don't go and get diagnosed," said Ronnie Daniel the executive director for the Alzheimer's Association;

Daniel says it's important for family members to recognize if their loved ones are showing signs of early onset and seek help from a doctor. "Right now statistically 1 in 9 people age 65 and older are going to have Alzheimer’s disease and people age 85 and older 1 out of 3 will have the disease,” said Daniel.

The Alzheimer’s Association also says of those who are diagnosed with the disease two thirds of them are women. For more information, call the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 helpline at 800.272.3900 or visit alz.org

 

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