Maria Shriver Discusses Alzheimer's in America


"I think that this President could stand up and say that he understands that this is a national epidemic," Shriver said. "This Congress, right now, could go ahead and pass the National Alzheimer's Project Act. They could do that today," she said. That bill would "put an office in HHS and say this is going to be a priority, we need coordination, we need a strategy," she said.

"Families need to know that this Congress, that is sitting right behind you, is aware of this epidemic," Shriver said. "Two million kids under the age of 18 are caring for loved ones at home struggling with Alzheimer's. This is already happening. The only people who are not talking about it sit in that building," she said, pointing to the Capitol.

Jerry and Karen Parks hope the Government will provide more resources for families and more funding to find a cure.

"It is very hard to see your loved one that you want to spend forever with, losing parts of things and seeing how frustrating and hurt they feel when they can't do something," Karen said.

"Jerry and I decided we are going to make the best of it and he has a fabulous attitude," she added.

Jerry has come to see the possibilities in the time he has left. "When I got done with grieving, I thought this gives me a great opportunity, this gives me time to do the things I want to do," he said. "I think for us to be upbeat raises our family and friends up too."

Cindy Smith contributed to this report.

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