by Rachel Turner
Myriam Marquez is known as a warrior—an advocate who is passionate about raising awareness around Alzheimer’s disease, even while fighting the disease herself. Myriam has spoken out about the fight against Alzheimer’s many times, and this year, she has another opportunity to raise her voice. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Matthews Burwell, appointed Myriam to a two-year term on the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA) Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services.
Washington Senator Patty Murray, a supporter of NAPA, is pleased about Myriam’s appointment. “As Alzheimer’s has affected far too many families in Washington state and across the country, the stories of those impacted by this disease are a daily reminder of why we must keep fighting for a cure,” said Senator Murray. “Myriam’s passion and dedication to this fight has been inspiring, and I congratulate her for this well-deserved honor.”
The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (Public Law 111-375), passed unanimously by Congress in December 2010. President Barack Obama signed it into law in January 2011. This law required the creation of the National Alzheimer’s Plan, released in 2012, to address the rapidly escalating Alzheimer’s disease crisis, and the coordination of Alzheimer’s disease efforts across the federal government. It also required the creation of an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services.
“It’s a privilege to serve on the Advisory Council,” said Myriam. “I’ll be representing so many people who have Alzheimer’s and other dementias; I want people to share with me what they would like me to say on their behalf, even by commenting on this story.”
According to the Department of Health & Human Services, The Advisory Council “makes recommendations to HHS for priority actions to expand, coordinate, and condense programs in order to improve the health outcomes of people with ADRD (Alzheimer’s Disease-related dementias) and reduce the financial burden of these conditions on those with the diseases, their families and society.”
Myriam believes that having someone with dementia on the Advisory Council is important. “I can provide a window into what it’s like to have dementia,” said Myriam. “However, first of all, I want to listen; then I will give my perspective. I’m certainly not shy about contributing,” smiled Myriam.
And so the warrior and advocate continues her work.
Click here to watch the advisory council meetings or to read more information.