I’m sure you heard about actor Seth Rogen‘s hilarious and heartfelt speech about Alzheimer’s that he gave last Wednesday before the Senate. Rogen talked about his family’s personal experience with the disease, hoping to raise awareness and inspire others to speak up about their experiences.
Sprinkled with self-deprecating jokes, Rogen’s speech was both funny and serious at the same time. He said he was there for a few reasons, the first being that he is a huge fan of House of Cards. His second more serious reason was that Alzheimer’s care is expensive, and that caregivers need more financial support.
“Therefore, I can’t begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this,” Rogen said. “As you’ve also heard, studies show that Alzheimer’s and related dementia is the most costly condition in the United States. Yes, it’s more costly than heart disease in a country where, for $1.29, you can get a taco made out of Doritos. They’re delicious but they’re not healthy. While deaths from other major diseases, like heart disease, HIV and strokes continue to decline, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased almost 70 percent in the last 15 years. Over five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and at this rate, in 35 years, as many as 16 million will have the disease.”
Rogen also wanted to use his speech to make those who are affected by this disease feel less alone.
“The third reason I’m here, simply, is to show people that they’re not alone,” Rogen said. “So few people share their personal story, so few people have something to relate to. I know that if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this, it would probably make us feel a little less alone. Americans whisper the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ because their government whispers the word ‘Alzheimer’s,’ and although a whisper is better than silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
I thought his speech was great. Rogen’s foundation ‘Hilarity for Charity‘ is all about getting young people involved, and that is exactly what is needed. We have to become more aware of this disease and its implications in order for anything to change.
Even if you aren’t a Rogen fan or interested in raising awareness for Alzheimer’s, I’m sure you saw this story in your newsfeed or heard about it from a friend. I can’t imagine how anyone could miss the incredible buzz it created on the internet. It’s not uncommon for celebrities to testify in front of the Senate, and Rogen’s status isn’t the reason his speech made headlines. What happened after the speech is what has everyone talking, or should I say, tweeting.
Annoyed that he spoke to a practically empty room, Rogen tweeted the following:
When Senator Mark Kirk tweeted a thank you to the actor, Rogen fired back, making it known that Kirk wasn’t even present to hear his speech.
While I doubt this was the buzz Rogen expected to gain, he and others involved with his charity foundation can be proud that they were able to make Alzheimer’s a topic of conversation last week.