Posted on June 4, 2018 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – June, 2018 has been designated as Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month (ABAM) and State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown), a leader in Alzheimer’s advocacy in Connecticut was invited to participate in the on-field Opening Ceremony of Friday’s Hartford Yard Goats baseball game held at Dunkin’ Donuts Park. Bolinsky joined Speaker of the House, Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin), Alzheimer’s Association officials and team promotional staff in the presentation of a Governor’s Proclamation to Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter in recognition of their ongoing advocacy efforts to defeat the disease.
Hartford’s AA MiLB baseball club partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association to kick-off ABAM at the ballpark, with thousands of fans and ALZ Association members in attendance, wearing purple “END ALZ” shirts, while Rep. Bolinsky donned his 2017 white &purple ”Walk to End Alzheimer’s Champions Club” fundraiser’s shirt.
Millions of families nationwide with loved-ones and friends diagnosed by this little understood disease are being encouraged to share their stories through social media during the month of June and beyond. Their stories will be congregated, using the hashtag #IGoPurple. To find other ways you can become involved, click here.
“Raising awareness about the life issues and unique caregiver challenges associated with the onset, diagnosis and progression of Alzheimer’s matters a great deal to me”, said Bolinsky. This holds a big place in my heart and I cannot adequately express how blessed I feel every day to be able to advocate for those with this life-altering affliction and the millions of families and caregivers who sacrifice so much to provide their love-ones with dignity, reassurance and the best quality of life possible. Not everyone can fully comprehend the sense of personal loss that comes with Alzheimer’s. Its effects flare out beyond the individual and extend to caregivers, families and communities. It’s a lonely-feeling journey into a quiet, unrecognizable place.”
“I believe it is my responsibility to use the power vested in me, my strong voice and whatever resources I can muster to make a difference and create hope for folks that, otherwise, can feel alone in their struggles, much like my family does. It’s why I tell my personal story at the Capitol and around town but, it’s so important for people to hear all different kinds of first-hand accounts. Each journey of support for family members with Alzheimer’s and related dementias is unique. But, the more we share experiences, strategies and resources, the stronger we become. Research, understanding and good science will hold the keys to beating Alzheimer’s. Currently, there is no cure, but with early diagnosis and advancements to slow its progression and, eventually solve the puzzle, the continuum of care for those diagnosed can and will improve. I look forward to the day we find Alzheimer’s first survivor. I have hope.” reflected Rep. Bolinsky, who is a member of the legislature’s Aging Committee.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease. That’s one and a half times the entire population of Connecticut. Roughly every minute that passes, another individual is newly diagnosed. By 2050, the number of affected is expected to balloon to 14 million people.
Bolinsky concluded, “Part of addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia will also be evolving stronger communities and networks of care. I want people to know that they are not alone in their fight against this disease. We literally have millions of families across our nation coming to together to face this as a united front. I look forward to reviewing stories and learning more from individuals across the country throughout the entire month of June.”
On Sunday, September 30, 2018, Bolinsky will be participating in a Walk to End Alzheimer’s on the campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Please join his team, or create your own at ALZ.org or donate or join his walk-team by clicking here.