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Words from Gwen Kao
"Alzheimer’s is a very insidious disease – it creeps up on a person unsuspectingly. You think you are just getting old and forgetting where you put things occasionally and that this is a normal part of aging. Professor Kao is now many more years into the stages of Alzheimer's. Professor Kao has forgotten how to do many of the tasks he used to do with his eyes shut.

The stress on the care giver is tremendous when this stage is reached; someone has to be there in attendance all the time. The emotional toll is terrible. To see a loved one disintegrating, from a highly intelligent person, alert and quick to understand, to becoming a very different person. There is a lot of anger, then grief for a person who has died. It is not like a normal death where the body has gone, a time for mourning and then to get on with life. The person is still physical here. And the wound stays open, never healing.

Alzheimer’s is a disease. Like Cancer once was, decades ago, it seems to be a hidden disgraceful ailment. It is NOT! Like cancer it has now come into the open. Only if everyone is aware of this terrible disease, will we find a cure. For many of the more common cancers, it has taken 10 to 20 years to find the cures. We need much donations and funding from public and Governments alike. There are cures for the common cancers now, and we want one for Alzheimer's, for our children's sake and the generations to come. The death rates from cancer, heart attacks and HIV are steadily dropping. The death rate from Alzheimer's is rising.

Hong Kong is now on this path. Let us all join hands to work for better solutions and for help for the large numbers of care givers in the community. It is necessary for our Government to be prepared for the problems ahead as the population of Hong Kong is aging fast and the growing numbers of sufferers from Alzheimer's will only increase. I pray for a cure to be found."


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