Remembering Nancy Reagan and Her Contributions to Alzheimer’s Research

InternationalWomensDay-portraitToday is International Women’s Day—a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Fittingly, it falls during Women’s History Month, which state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) described in a 2015 resolution as a time to “honor women and their contribution to the development of our society and our world.”

Last year, we reported on how the Gables of Ojai celebrated the history of influential women with their residents, staff, family, and community-at-large. Today, we’re remembering the life of Nancy Reagan: a Californian, a family caregiver, and a fierce advocate for Alzheimer’s disease research.

According to a press release from the Alzheimer’s Association, Ronald Reagan revealed his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 1994. The press release continues:

In 1994, President Ronald Reagan shared that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, with an open letter to the American people, writing, “In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.” Following this brave announcement of the diagnosis, Mrs. Reagan used her voice to represent families and increase awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.
“The Alzheimer’s Association mourns the loss of first lady Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan and President Reagan bravely shared his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease with the world in 1994. This was at a time when Alzheimer’s disease was truly in the shadows and together they began to change the conversation about Alzheimer’s disease for millions,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association president and CEO. “The public disclosure of their Alzheimer’s experience created an enormous and much-needed upsurge of interest in the disease from the general public and government officials. It was our honor to work with Mrs. Reagan over the years to raise awareness and inspire progress in Alzheimer’s research.”

Watch this video from USA Today’s YouTube channel to learn more about this remarkable woman and her lasting achievements:

How are you honoring the women of your communities today? Share in the comments section below.


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