P1160472 copy

Rep. Chris Smith, a founder and co-chair of the Congressional Task Force on Alzheimer’s Disease, talks with 101.5’s Bill Spadea after attending the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Bradley Beach.

Smith talks about the Walk itself, it’s inspirational participants and sponsors, and the $1.8 billion of research funding–a three-fold increase–he is helping to push through Congress.

Listen here:

Excerpts from Smith’s interview with Bill Spadea:

“[The Walk to End Alzheimer's] is designed to raise funds especially for research which is critical to try mitigate and hopefully find a cure for this horrific disease.”

“There were caregivers there, loved ones, friends, healthcare professionals–just a large number of people, and they raised close to $200,000.”

“It’s a life of love, of care, compassion, and I would say, of courage, because they’re speaking out, trying to get Congress to be even more responsive.”

“In the last 3 years we have tripled the budget for the National Institutes of Health for Alzheimer’s disease research. It went $589 million to–this year–it’ll be $1.8 billion.”

“Part of the frustration is that these researchers are just waiting to do the work but they didn’t have the resources. Now they will have the resources, and I think we will get to some major breakthroughs.”

“The beauty of this Congressional caucus that I co-chair, is that we have 151 members in it now, and we try to get people on all the different committees–Appropriations, Energy & Commerce, all the different committees–to be focused on, ‘hey you have somebody in your family, certainly you have people who are friends who are or will suffer from this.”

“We can, through the deployment of this funding, I believe, get to the point where we can stop it in it’s tracks, arrest it’s progression, and then, God wiling, get to a cure.”

“It’s not conservative, moderate, liberal–because Alzheimer’s does not discriminate against who it ravages.”

Excerpts edited for clarity. 

*picture from a different NJ-04 event, not Alzheimer’s Walk in Bradley Beach