This month, we think of the millions of people worldwide, including many Samoans, who suffer from Alzheimer’s, an excruciatingly difficult disease that robs people of their most basic treasures—their memories. It is this fact that makes this disease so terrible. Its very nature also subjects the families of those afflicted to what is often called ‘the long goodbye.’
While there is no known cure yet, scientists are making important progress. A key is financial support, and Congress has been active in supporting research. In 2011 and 2014 respectively, Congress passed the National Alzheimer’s Project Act and the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act. Through these bipartisan bills, we have been able to substantially increase Alzheimer’s research and gather key data to inform future appropriations. I will do my best to ensure that these key laws are reauthorized by Congress.
While we work toward a cure, we should all continue to offer our support and love to those we know are affected by this terrible disease.
Aumua Amata is the delegate of American Samoa in the U.S. Congress.