Michael Ellenbogen in March 2015
photograph above copyright by WHO / Violaine Martin
I am one lucky guy. I was invited to speak at WHO. I was treated like royalty for two days.Below id the speech I read before having a question and answer session as a panelist.
I would first like to thank the members of WHO for this invitation. I consider this a great honor. I would also like to thank USAgainstAlzheimer’s for helping me to come today and making my dreams to speak here come true as a person with AD.
A few months ago I was asked to share a wish and a picture to be used at this meeting; however, the requirement changed last minute and they wanted the picture in a particular format with the wish sentence shortened and incorporated in to it.
This is outside my capabilities so I asked if they could make an exception but was told I needed to follow the new process.
I lost out on adding my wish, simply because someone wouldn’t make allowances.
This just serves as a reminder that having Alzheimer’s has not only robbed me of my skills but has, to all intents and purposes, rendered me useless to society.
If we are going to educate the world on dementia it needs to start here, with all of us.
We need to eradicate the stigma.
We need to encourage people with dementia to participate in society.
Our contribution may not be perfect or meet requirements but ours is just as important as anyone else’s contribution.
We should rejoice that we are still capable of making a contribution, not dismissing us.
We are disabled in many ways and need your support not to be shut away like some dirty secret.
We have been handed a death sentence.
We know our time is limited.
My wish was longer than the required sentence.
My wish cannot be shortened to fit in a picture.
My wish is, however, very simple and straight forward.
All I want is to be afforded the same civil rights as a person with cancer.
A person with dementia loses the freedom to drive
A person with dementia loses the freedom to conduct financial affairs
A person with dementia loses the freedom to travel alone
A person with dementia loses the freedom to choose how to die
A person should not lose their freedom because they get Alzheimer’s.
* Admin issues: SHARE dementia awareness thru buttons below. If interested in receiving notice of future blog postings there is a “follow” button in the upper left corner (MS Explorer) or lower right (Safari and Chrome). Feel free to leave your thoughts in the form of comments, but please filter your comments with truthful loving kindness to all concerned. If there is an advertisement below, I have no control over what is shown. — Copyright Michael Ellenbogen on March 19, 2015.