Glass’ efforts have garnered media attention in many of the communities he’s stopped in along the way. To him, it’s not what he’s doing that’s important so much as the message about Alzheimer’s Disease. Glass’ walk is meant to push for Alzheimer’s research funding and to raise find for the national Alzheimer’s Association, which helps provide valuable information and advocacy about the disease.
Glass said that he was “in denial” for a long time about his mother’s own condition, and that he’s found many others he’s encountered along the way have a hard time admitting that their loved ones may be in some stage of Alzheimer’s Disease.
“Alzheimer’s, unfortunately, is a subject that’s not talked about a lot, I’m finding out in these small communities,” he said. “A lot of families keep this under wraps. The more prevalent this disease is becoming, the more it needs to be addressed.
“Every community has stories, everyone I’ve talked to,” he added. “Everyone’s been affected by it in some way or another, and it’s rare I talk to someone who hasn’t been directly affected by it.”
If not directly, he noted, than everybody indirectly pays the cost, as Alzheimer’s has become one of the country’s most costly diseases, with statistics showing that $200 billion is spent annually on Medicare and Medicaid expenses related to Alzheimer’s.
“It’s the most expensive disease out there right now,” said Glass.
That’s why he stopped by the office of Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers before leaving town Wednesday, to provide information for the Fifth District Representative’s staffers about the importance of Alzheimer’s funding for research and treatment.
Glass also visited the local Alzheimer’s Respite Center on South Maple Street and spoke to director Kathy Balltrip.