I'm gettin' surious on here today, guys. I hope you don't mind.
I'm sure any of you with a Facebook account, that you check on the regular, have had your News Feed littered with the Seth Rogen video of him addressing the Senate seeking more funding to go towards Alzheimer's awareness. I too, jumped on the "Share" bandwagon and after I did so, realized that actually, I wasn't finished talking about it with just a mere share.
A few years ago, I was on a plane and reading a book that I was about a quarter of the way through when I boarded. Just before landing, I finished the book and I found myself sobbing quite uncontrollably. Like bad. Yes, it was embarrassing... To say the least. My cocktail napkin was in shreds as it proved insufficient to soak up the amassing tears, that showed no signs of stopping. I was in the window seat and found myself in a quandary as to whether I should get up and expose myself or be that awkward person sniffling in the corner alone, that can't hide the fact that they are visibly upset... which is especially weird on a plane, when you've been on it for 4+ hours and it is 6 years ago when it's not like you would have just heard some upsetting news from someone "on the ground." But alas, what did I expect reading a book about one of the saddest diseases befalling more and more people each year. Miraculously, the woman sitting next to me put her hand on my shoulder during this "scene" and told me that she too had read the book and had the same reaction. She also gave me another book for my flight back home which was such a sweet gesture that I felt I needed to mention it here. Snaps for random acts of kindness.
The book, titled Still Alice, remains one of the most impactful and heart-wrenching I have ever read. It is a novel that was written by Lisa Genova, who holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. It details the inception and rapid progression of a fifty year old woman's battle with early-onset Alzheimer's and the horrific and agonizing effects that plague her and her loved ones. It was beyond depressing but in the way that you don't feel sorry for reading it.
Seth Rogen's speech talks about his and his wife's experience with her mother, another victim of this ruthless disease. Spoken in eloquent and still humorous way, he touches on how this disease can rob you of everything, even the most basic human functions and does so like a freight train on a mission to hell. He also discusses the stigma that people and loved ones face in dealing with Alzheimer's and how awareness and understanding can help the cause and those suffering from it as a whole. Through increased awareness comes more funding and a gentler space for people living with this illness to manage. I watched the video today and once again, I had an onset of tears in a public place, but this time they were happy tears because this is an issue that I think is so important to know about, learn more about, try to prevent and help those hurting from it. It can honestly happen to anyone and can wreak havoc through a person's life as they know it as well as those around them.
And so, I urge everyone to read the book Ask Alice, to enhance their knowledge and understanding of how this disease strikes and as a result, want to be part of the conversation and solution towards eradicating this horrendous malady. But first: watch this video if you haven't already!
Amen, Mr. Rogen. Amen.