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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 29, 2005

Alzheimer's Foundation to Present Leadership Awards to Task Force Co-Chairs

NEW YORK, NY—The Alzheimer's Foundation of America will present its National Leadership Award to Congressmen Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ) in recognition of their commitment to focus the nation's attention on the devastating impact of Alzheimer's disease and to find solutions through both research and care.

AFA will honor the officials at its "Together for Care" Congressional Reception on April 6 from 6 pm to 8 pm at the Rayburn Office Building Foyer in Washington, D.C.

Markey, who represents the 7th district in Massachusetts, and Smith, who represents the 4th district in New Jersey, are co-founders and co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer's Disease. Since its formation in 1999, the task force has addressed pressing Alzheimer's-related issues, including funding research for a cure as well as services that address the care needs of those with the disease and their families.

"These renowned leaders have truly championed the cause for those with the disease and their caregivers. They each deserve our utmost respect and recognition for their tireless crusade to make life better for the increasing number of Americans impacted by this heartbreaking disease," said AFA's chairman, Bert Brodsky.

AFA's National Leadership Award honors an American "whose passion, determination and effort has advanced the cause of all persons with cognitive diseases…(The award) recognizes the long-term commitment and devotion to the cause of individuals whose voices have been silenced by dementia."

Commenting on the award, Smith said: "Our country needs a comprehensive approach for identifying and then treating current Alzheimer's patients, as well researching potential cures to reduce the number of those who will struggle with this disease in the future. I have been working with similarly minded colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance this agenda, and I am deeply grateful for the important work that organizations like the Alzheimer's Foundation of America are performing in this effort."

Noted Markey: "I am honored and humbled to receive the National Leadership Award from the foundation. The race to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease is now more urgent than ever. Unless science finds a way to prevent or cure this terrible illness, nearly 16 million Americans will have Alzheimer's by the year 2050. By expanding funding for research and prevention, we inch closer to the day when we can speak of Alzheimer's as a disease of the past."

The Alzheimer's Foundation of America is a national nonprofit organization that focuses on "together for care…in addition to cure" for individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related illnesses, and their families, and unites several hundred member and associate member organizations nationwide that provide hands-on services. AFA's "Together for Care" campaign is an awareness-building and fundraising initiative that connects individuals, community groups, schools and businesses to support care initiatives. For more information, call toll-free 866-AFA-8484 or visit www.alzfdn.org.

Contact: Carol Steinberg
Phone: 1-866-AFA-8484


Alzheimer's Foundation of America  866.232.8484

www.alzfdn.org