Borger going purple

Borger resident Danna Jackson is a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association who is advocating more funding and research for Alzheimer’s disease. On June 21 at Opportunity Inc, she will be making a presentation. The public is invited to attend. (photo by Tim Howsare)
By: 
Tim Howsare
Editor

Local advocate raising awareness for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Danna Jackson, a local ambassador with the Alzheimer’s Association, is passionate about the nonprofit organization strengthening its representation with the state and national officials.
She is a proponent for more funding for research and treatment, and is reaching out to U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, State Sen. Ken Seliger and State Rep. Four Price for their support.
She encourages others to make their voices heard as well.
“The more of us that know about it (Alzheimer’s and other dementias) the better voice we have when we speak to congressmen and representatives,” she said.
Earlier this year, she traveled to Washington D.C. where she attended the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement Advocacy Forum and visited with Thornberry’s office.
Jackson said she has exciting news. Two bills that she and others supported at the state level, SB999 and HB 1915, have been signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott.
The bills relate to a state plan for education on and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.
Jackson said she is especially pleased to see progress at the state level, because she said the funding in Texas, based on its population, is low when compared to other states.
Jackson also is busy at the local level, selling Borger Goes Purple T-shirts and going around to local businesses putting out jars to collect cash donations.
On June 21, which to Jackson is symbolic because it is the longest day of the year, she will be making a presentation for the pubic at 11:30 a.m. at Opportunity Inc.
“Hopefully we will have some surprise guests if their commitments allow them,” she said.
Since Opportunity Inc serves many seniors in the area, she said it is a prime group to speak to.
“June 21st is the summer solstice. It is the longest day of the year and we want that day to be recognized because it has the most light. Together we can stand up to the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease,” she said. The outreach is called The Longest Day and everyone is encouraged to wear purple.
The statistics provided by the national Alzheimer’s Association are grim. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
In 2019, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $234 billion. By 2050, these costs could rise to $1.1 trillion.
Then there is the toll on caregivers, who in the past year have provided an estimated 18.5 billion hours of their time valued at $234 billion. More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
June happens to be Alzheimer’s & Brain Health Month.
Jackson said she has experienced Alzheimer’s and other dementias first hand, both in her family and in her career as a social worker in nursing home facilities and acute care in hospitals.
Jackson said there is no cure, prevention or existing treatment for Alzheimer’s.
“One in three seniors will die from an Alzheimer’s type of dementia. That’s more than prostrate or breast cancer,” she said.
To contact Jackson, call 713-314-1301.
For for information about Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org or call the helpline at 800-272-3900.

Phone numbers:
U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, 806-371-8844
State Rep. Four Price,  806-374-8787
State Sen. Kel Seliger, 806-374-8994

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