Seth Rogen gave an address in Capital Hill to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee about his personal connection to Alzheimer’s disease. This past Tuesday Rogen, the funny man behind movies like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, spoke about the disease that affects more than 5 million Americans. He is known for his comedic acting, writing and directing. Yet Rogen put his comedy skills aside and presented a plea in support towards Alzheimer’s education to the US Senate subcommittee, a committee in which only 2 of the 22 members were in attendance.
Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller, started an organization named Hilarity for Charity, with the goal to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Disease. Their specific mission encompasses eliminating the notion that Alzheimer’s is a disease for the old. The money raised through the organization goes to support groups, research, and towards families struggling with costs. Their first event in 2012 raised $300,000. Rogen spoke in Capital Hill about his personal connection to Alzheimer’s. His wife’s mother was diagnosed at the age of 55 with early onset Alzheimer’s. Following her diagnosis she was asked to retire from teaching, and according to Miller, lost many friends due to her diminishing social skills. Within 4 years of her diagnosis she lost the ability to write, within 6 years of her diagnosis she lost all of her independence. Miller’s mom could no longer feed herself; clean herself, converse and what Miller states as the saddest of all is that she no longer recognized any of her loved ones.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that affects over 50 percent of people 85 years and older. It inhibits a person’s memory, behavior, and thought process. It is a gradual disease, beginning with a person suffering slight memory loss. Signs of this include misplacing keys, forgetting important appointments, and directions to places. During the progression of the disease patients may become aggressive, and violent. This is due to their inability to communicate their frustrations; they have to express themselves physically. At the later stages of the disease, a person loses the ability to fend for themselves, requiring 24 hour assistance. Patients become fully dependent on their caretakers, they lose the ability to care for themselves on all levels. They need help with feeding and bathing, ultimately leading to the brains inability to remember how to chew food, or how to sit up. At the last stage patients become vegetative, leading to death. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
Rogen spoke in Capital Hill about his personal connection to Alzheimer’s Disease to raise awareness and support for research and patient costs. The United States Committee on Appropriations is the largest committee in the US Senate, consisting of 30 senators that are responsible for the allocation of funds from the Federal treasury. There are 12 subcommittees that have the task of appropriating funds within their jurisdictions. Rogen spoke in Capital Hill to the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies.
By Dony Lugo