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Adam S.
Democrat CA 28

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  • Tribute to Eleanor Ownbey

    by Representative Adam B. Schiff

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    SCHIFF of california in the house of representatives Thursday, December 11, 2014 Mr. SCHIFF. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Eleanor Ownbey and to honor the work of her two daughters, Maggie and Sue Ownbey, for their many years of advocacy on behalf of their mother and the Alzheimer's disease community.

    Eleanor battled Alzheimer's disease for more than ten years, passing away from this tragic disease on February 18, 2014. Maggie and Sue watched as their mother not only forgot that they were her daughters, but also how to talk, to walk, and to feed herself. Eleanor spent the last three years of her life in hospice care and most of that time confined to a bed. Her daughters describe her as a brave woman with a strong spirit and an infectious sense of humor.

    Inspired by their mother's courage, Maggie and Sue have spent the last eight years telling their mother's story and how much this ravenous disease costs families, what caregivers need, and how desperately a cure needs to be found.

    In fact, someone develops Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds and more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease. It is also the only cause of death in the top 10 in America without a way to prevent it, treat it, or slow its progression. This devastating disease is also taking a toll on our economy and health care infrastructure. Caring for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias cost the United States an estimated $214 billion in 2014, and unless something changes, costs are estimated to rise to a total of $1.2 trillion in 2050.

    I call on my colleagues to recognize the growing Alzheimer's crisis and to support a strong increase in funding for Alzheimer's disease research for Fiscal Year 2015 that will enable the National Institutes of Health to arrive one step closer to finding a cure for this tragic disease.

    Eleanor Ownbey is survived by her children Maggie, Sue, Steven, and Mark and her grandchildren Jason, Summit, Netanya, Allie, and William ``Finn.'' I wish the Ownbey family all the best in their future endeavors and express my deepest gratitude for their advocacy on behalf of the millions of families whose loved ones suffer from Alzheimer's disease.


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