To the Editor

Dear Editor,

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. Did you know that nearly 7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, including more than 129,000 Tennesseans? As an Alzheimer’s Association volunteer advocate, it is my honor to raise my voice on their behalf.

I am no stranger to this devastating disease, as I lost my own grandmother to Alzheimer’s 24 years ago. I know first-hand the heartache of watching your loved one slowly slip away. During my summers in college, I helped to act as my grandmother’s caregiver. Each day, I would help her get dressed, brush her hair and teeth, help feed her, and provide companionship. Even though she no longer knew who I was, I think it was a comfort to her to have a smiling face greet her each day. I always kept a positive and upbeat attitude when I stayed with her, but I must confess that many days on my way home after a long day of caregiving, I would break down in tears. Alzheimer’s takes so much away from all of us. It’s why I will never give up in the fight to end this disease.

At the beginning of April, I was honored to represent Anderson County and TN District 03 at the 2024 AIM Advocacy Forum with my fellow Alzheimer’s Association Advocates from across the country. During my time in Washington, DC, I met with Congressman Chuck Fleischmann’s staff on Capitol Hill to call for support of the NAPA Reauthorization Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment act, which will help to ensure that the nation continues to prioritize addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia.

I also asked that the Congressman co-sponsor the BOLD Reauthorization Act, which would continue to strengthen the Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure, empowering health departments across the nation to implement dementia interventions and education.

Additionally, I asked the Congressman to support an additional $318 million in FY 2025 for Alzheimer’s research activities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and $35 million in FY 2025 for implementation of the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Finally, I asked the Congressman to co-sponsor the Accelerating Access to Dementia Alzheimer’s Provider Training (AADAPT) Act, which will empower primary care providers to better diagnose Alzheimer’s and other dementia and deliver high-quality, person-centered care in community-based settings.

I am so thankful to Congressman Fleischmann for stepping up and co-sponsoring NAPA and the Alzheimer’s Accountability and Investment Act. I am now asking for him to use his voice in the House to urge our Congressional leaders to bring these two bills, along with the BOLD Reauthorization Act, to the House floor for a vote in the coming weeks.

We also still need Congressman Fleischmann’s support on the AADAPT Act and on the increase to Alzheimer’s research funding at the NIH. Please join me and the Alzheimer’s Association in encouraging Congressman Fleischmann to advance these additional policies that will help make progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. To learn more about this disease and how you can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s, visit


Rebecca Williams