By Danny Harper, Senior Director of Development, UCI MIND
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans lose friends and loved ones to Alzheimer’s disease. When a celebrity passes from Alzheimer’s, it brings a higher level of attention to the disease that affects millions of Americans and more than 84,000 people right here in Orange County.
Whether or not you personally know someone who has lived with Alzheimer’s, we can all get a glimpse into the disease through the lives of public figures who have been afflicted. From Rosa Parks to Ronald Reagan to Glen Campbell, and now including NPR’s legendary Carl Kasell, we are reminded that Alzheimer’s disease can affect any of us.
Upon hearing of the passing of Carl Kasell, I did what any millennial would do, I went to Twitter and started reading comments and remembrances of this radio icon. Immediately, I was struck by the sheer number of people who wanted to share a memory or simply say how much they will miss Mr. Kasell. Perhaps, like me, you are a fan of Morning Edition, which he helped launch in 1979, or Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, a news trivia show in which lucky contestants were rewarded with Carl recording their outgoing voicemail message. In any case, it is clear that many stand in awe of his talent and career.
At UCI MIND, we are committed to stopping the disease that took Carl Kasell and so many other beloved people from us. Research today is indeed our hope for tomorrow. I invite you to share your own experience with Alzheimer’s disease so we can raise awareness and bring an end to this terrible disease. Post your own story in the comments below, on our Facebook page (@UCIrvineMIND), or send us a Tweet (@ucimind).