To the editor:
 
With more than 5 million Americans now living with Alzheimer’s and with more than 15 million acting as caregivers, Alzheimer’s has become the nation’s most expensive disease. This year alone, it will cost $277 billion to take care of those stricken. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts that, by 2050, more than 14 million Americans will be afflicted and the nation’s cost will top $1.1 trillion. 
 
Sadly, as of now, there is no way to prevent, slow, or cure this terrible disease. I know this firsthand. I was caregiver for 15 years to both my mother and my husband. I do not want my children to go through what I did. It was devastating. Perhaps that is why so many don't want to talk about it. But in this case, silence is not golden.
 
In fact, Alzheimer’s is now so commonplace that  the CDC has named Alzheimer's a public health crisis. Alzheimer’s places a huge financial burden on communities, impacting local hospitals, clinics, police and ambulance services, just to name a few. More accessible Alzheimer’s information and more cost-saving services are greatly needed throughout the US. Our Congress needs to hear more about this and what living with Alzheimer’s is like, from citizens just like you.
 
 
If Alzheimer’s has touched your life, come join many other citizens from across the country on June 19 to present your personal concerns to Congress.  The Alzheimer’s Association is providing $25 round-trip bus transportation from various locations in NJ, Southeastern PA and DE. You can register in advance online.
 
Alzheimer’s is fatal. It is  our most expensive disease. It is a public health crisis. Finding a cure and offering help to those already suffering must be a national priority.  Don’t be silent ... your voice is needed. I urge you to come to Washington on June 19.
 
Jeannie Castells
Lambertville