Local man takes Alzheimer's fight to Congress - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Local man takes Alzheimer's fight to Congress

Paul Hornback appeared before Congress and lobby for additional funding to find a cure for Alzheimer's.  (Source: Julian Glover/WAVE 3 News) Paul Hornback appeared before Congress and lobby for additional funding to find a cure for Alzheimer's.  (Source: Julian Glover/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A local man, diagnosed with Alzheimer's, was one of 1,200 patients living with the condition who recently made a trip to appear before Congress and lobby for additional funding to find a cure for the disease. 

"I retired early from my career as an engineer with the U.S. Army. I no longer drive because I can't focus well enough to pay attention while I'm driving," Paul Hornback said.

In the seven years since Hornback's diagnosis, he's seen some big life changes. The 55-year-old was stunned by the news from his doctors when he was only in his late 40s. He thought he was too young to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Despite challenges, he's not letting his condition slow him down. Hornback was one of more than 1,200 Alzheimer's patients from across the country who made a trip to Washington, D.C. to address Congress. 

"I went there to ask congress for additional funding for research so we can live in a world without Alzheimer's disease," Hornback said.

In 2015 Congress allocated more than $500 million for Alzheimer's research, but that's only half of what goes to heart disease research and a fraction of what HIV/AIDS research gets. 

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The fight for more funding comes at a critical time - Alzheimer's is hitting patients' wallets hard. 

"It's a huge economic impact on families," said Maggie Walsh, Alzheimer's Association of Greater Kentucky and Southern Indiana. "Nearly half of care contributes or care givers are cutting back on their basic necessities," she said. 

On Capitol Hill, Hornback said he met with Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY), Speaker Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) to ask for more research funding. He says the responses were positive. 

"And all of them were receptive to our message. Some said they would take it under advisement," he said. "Some were very upfront and said they would do it."

Hornback is hoping his story and the stories of hundreds of others who visited Washington, D.C. will sway Congress to help find a cure. 

"If we can put a face on that disease and they can heart that person's story then I think it makes a world of difference," he said. 

If you would like to get involved with Alzheimer's advocacy or connect with Alzheimer's resources in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, click here

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