My husband Dan and I were one of the 1200 advocates in attendance for the Alzheimer’s Association 2016 Advocacy Forum in Washington, DC, April 4-6. Dan and I packed for our trip the night before. Our friends in the Purple Canoe Club, Harlan Mueller and Steve Schulz, arranged to help us with transportation to the Airport and back. Other friends from Southeastern Wisconsin traveling with us to attend the conference were John and Peggy Brandt, Mike and Julie Grassel , their daughter Stephanie and her fiancé, Mark.
It was a pleasant flight to Washington D.C. We all stayed at the beautiful Wardman Park Marriott Hotel. We attended meetings together. Stephanie Grassel gave a speech from the heart about her Dad living with Alzheimer disease. It was very moving. There was not a dry eye in the house. She received a thundering round of applause. Dan and I thanked her from the bottom of our hearts for her speech and heart felt delivery.
We had a nice dinner after a long day spent on Capitol Hill, visiting with legislators, sharing the stories of our Alzheimer’s journeys, and advocating for more research funding. The restaurant was a short walk from the hotel. It was good to be here in person for the conference. However I, and others in our group who are living with Alzheimer’s, needed to take time to rest as necessary.
On the last day of the conference Dan’s cousin, his wife and his sister joined us for the closing speeches. We then enjoyed dinner at their lovely home in Bethesda Maryland. The trip went quickly and before you knew it, we were flying home with the rest of our pals.
~Barbara Cheek Johnson is a journalist living with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. ~