Former First Lady Laura Bush has been an advocate for a number of key issues, including health care, education, and human rights. But there is another issue that is especially close to her heart: Alzheimer’s.
Mrs. Bush’s father suffered and ultimately passed away from the disease. Her mother was his primary caregiver.
“Mother quickly learned that caring for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s requires constant sacrifice,” Mrs. Bush wrote in a poignant essay for The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s.
On September 28, Mrs. Bush will be honored for her efforts to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and caregiving as part of the third annual “Out of the Shadows” dinner in Washington D.C. The dinner showcases the unique perspectives of women in the fight against Alzheimer’s and spotlights notable leaders who are on the frontlines of the effort.
In addition to Mrs. Bush, other honorees include Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Eli Lilly & Company.
Mrs. Bush will be in conversation with NPR’s Diane Rehm. (Rehm herself has helped raise awareness. She recently focused an episode of her program on the cost of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.)
“We’ve seen so much progress in our battle against strokes, cancers and heart disease,” Mrs. Bush said. “The same can be true for treating and curing Alzheimer’s. Greater dialogue will lead to greater awareness. Purposeful investments can stimulate successful research. And together, we can help bring an end to heartbreaks caused by the sad good-bye.”
Prior to the evening dinner, there will be a daylong National Alzheimer’s Summit. There, government leaders and Alzheimer’s advocates will gather to examine what work is being done now, and what more can be done to bring us closer to a cure. To see the full list of speakers and agenda topics, go here.
For more information on the annual Out of the Shadows dinner, go here.