June is Alzheimer('s) and Brain Awareness Month

June is a full month. It's Pride Month, with its celebration of rebellion and joy and love. It's Indigenous History Month, with its celebration of endurance and generosity as Indigenous people share stories we should have learned but haven't yet. 

It's also Alzheimer (in Canada) and Alzheimer's (US) and Brain Awareness Month, with its calls to raise awareness of dementia and related diseases, and its ever-hopeful hashtag, #EndAlz.

Growing in the wild around here,
forget-me-nots. Pff, as if I could.

As you may know, I wrote a book about Alzheimer's. It's also about my mother, and my father. It's about our family, inertia, denial. Mistakes and regrets. 

And, to be fair, it's about joy, and dogs. Glass on a beach and a set of sheets. Home.

It's also about sounds and love, and how they both reverberate through time. I'm glad I wrote it, and I'm so honoured that it has touched many people. You can read more about it here. 

Years ago -- nearly eight years ago -- I also wrote about Alzheimer's (linked here). Eight years is a long time, and I produce a lot of words on the regular, so I'd forgotten this specific post.

It includes these paragraphs, which hold true today. 

Sometimes I picture a lab tech grabbing a sandwich at what should have been the end of her shift but isn't because processing an extra batch of samples each shift means getting results that much earlier ...

* which lets her lab meet an earlier publication deadline ... 

* which helps secure an extra $100K in research funding ... 

* which produces results leading to a collaborative project with a drug company ... 

* and maybe just maybe it's THIS drug that proves effective.

And because she's a numbers person as well as a people person, the disease statistics--millions of people with the disease, each of whom has family, all of whom are waiting for good news--may haunt that lab tech.

So I hope she thinks of us, when she thinks of us, not as suffering people in need of her pity, nor as impatient family members wishing someone would do something.

Instead, I hope she recognizes we're a giant cheering section, urging her on. 

Still true today. You go, lab tech. We're rooting for you, and we're rooting for each other -- for every person who has dementia, and for those who love them.