South Dakota family meets lawmakers to discuss impact of Alzheimer's Disease

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- More than five million people have Alzheimer's Disease in America.

It's one of the lead causes of death, and there's no known cure.

Sandi and Ken Vietor traveled from Sioux Falls to join advocates in D.C.

They’re sharing their story with South Dakota lawmakers explaining how Alzheimer’s can turn life upside down when you least expect it.

Sandi said her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's four years ago at 60-years-old.

Sandi said of Ken, “He’s no longer able to work, no longer able to drive, he’s experienced numerous changes with his cognitive abilities.”

The Alzheimer’s Association wants more federal money to be put into research and is asking the government to recognize Alzheimer’s as a public health issue.

Jim Funderburk, the association's senior director of advocacy, said, “Where we go from here is to have Alzheimer’s really be part of the dialogue. Not just in terms of healthcare, but what we’re doing across the board in policy across the country.”

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