The Alzheimer’s Association has awarded Maria Shriver with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award for her 14 years of journalism, activism and testimony on behalf of Alzheimer’s research and the future of America’s brains.
Shriver received the award on Tuesday evening at the association’s National Alzheimer’s Dinner, which was part of the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum in Washington D.C. The 3-day forum was attended by over 1,300 advocates from across the United States who were in Washington D.C. to raise awareness for the cause before their representatives on Capitol Hill.
Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association president and CEO, introduced Shriver at the dinner by calling her “an architect of change” who had dedicated herself to confronting the many challenges facing the world, especially those that impact women.
“In response to the devastating consequences that Alzheimer’s has on women as people living with the disease and caregivers, Maria created the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement to inform women of their elevated risk and to ignite increased support for research,” Johns said. “By sharing her own story, and through her tireless, relentless efforts, Maria has illuminated the disease in the public eye, helping to create a dialogue that is so important around a disease and a diagnosis that was for too long hidden in the shadows.”
Shriver gracefully accepted the recognition, but vowed that the award doesn’t mean she’s done fighting this disease.
“When you’re given a lifetime achievement award, it’s usually when you’re about to retire and hang up your heels and step out of the arena,” Shriver said. “But for me, nothing could be further from the truth. Fourteen years after coming face to face with Alzheimer’s in my own family, I feel like I’m just getting started. I’m energized, I’m committed, and I’m ready to do whatever it takes to wipe out this mind-blowing disease.”