Wednesday, September 01, 2010

May Loss Lead to Gain

In memory of the loss of my father, and in remembrance of my mother's 85th birthday, today, please join me in my continual fight against Alzheimer's. has a petition (with an extremely easy form to fill out that will instantly connect to the appropriate Congressional members) to advocate for funding for Alzheimer research, care and prevention.

It takes seconds to fill out, or it can be personalized by a few added words or paragraphs, as I did below. Click this link to take action now

My personalized version:
As your constituent and an advocate for the Alzheimer's Association, I strongly urge you to address the grave challenge Alzheimer’s disease poses to American families and to the federal government by cosponsoring and passing:

1. The National Alzheimer’s Project Act (S. 3036/H.R. 4689) that calls for an integrated federal campaign to overcome Alzheimer’s disease.

2. The Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2009(S. 1492/H.R. 3286), authorizing $2 billion in research funding for Alzheimer’s disease.

3. The HOPE for Alzheimer's Act (S. 3674/H.R. 5926), which will provide Medicare reimbursement to increase the detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

An estimated 5.3 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, including as many as 200,000 who are under age 65. Unless science finds an answer soon, bringing the total number of Alzheimer patients to 16 million by 2050.

My mother,Nell Savikko, age 85 is one of its Alzheimer's, now in its advanced stage, as was my father, Ben Savikko, who died 13 days ago at the age of 93 with a related form of memory loss. They are two of 15 immediate family members who have, or have had this terrible disease.

Even here for my father's death, and having to travel 1,000 miles in 24 hrs to Alaska to be with my mother, I still brought with me two Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative quilts, begun weeks before. It was incredibly synchronistic to have received my official registration date and numbers the very day that he passed.

I finished them, here, in Alaska, as I celebrated my father's courageous life and our terrific loss of him, and mailed those two art quilts from their Douglas Island home. Again, a special date, as i mailed them from the Douglas Post Office in their little 'Priority Mail' envelope, on the very day that my 'daddy' came back home again to stay. Dates in memory, history, love, and time to never be forgotten again.

My art quilts are auctioned off on-line through the AAQI to raise money for Alzheimer's Research in the site begun by Ami Simms to honor the memory of her mother's challenges and final stages of her battle with this dread disease. And it continues in memory of her and in honor of all of our loved ones...such a wonderful gift to us all!

I am blessed and honored to have one of them, titled Mama's Brain Got Tangles....But Mama's Still Inside chosen to travel the U.S. in 2011 as part of AAQI's traveling exhibit "From Heartbreak to Hope" and hope to make many more quilts in the years ahead.

If I can face one parent's death, take care of the surviving parent night and day, and find beds and food for 27 family members a night who are here for this sad time, and still work towards ending this terrible disease, then what I am asking my own Oregon legislators to do, does not seem too much to ask.

I look forward to hearing from you about your support for legislation to significantly increase Alzheimer research funding, improve detection, diagnosis and care planning, and launch an integrated federal campaign to overcome Alzheimer’s disease.

Michele Savikko Bilyeu
Salem, Oregon

Click this link to take action now

The September 2010 Internet QUILT AUCTION To Fight Alzheimer's
Begins Today and Runs through Sept. 10th.

Read more:

Join me in my quilt donation:

Today, September 1, is my mother's birthday, she turns 85 without her husband of 61 years by her side. Please think of her, as you bid on a quilt.

And many thanks to Sue, From the Magpie's Nest, who let me know about this petition!


Nancy said...

Thank you for the wonderful post. My mother is in the angry stage of Alzheimers...which I think is the worse..she just doesn't understand...I have sent the letter to my congressmen...

julieQ said...

Please know how sorry I am for your losses...and please send me the address to send quilts, and yours too. Thank you, many hugs to you, dear Michele.

Magpie Sue said...

So glad I was able to be a help to you in some way. I personalized the petition when I signed it too but not in the very personal way that you did. I only hope our Congressional representatives hear the urgency in our pleas and take some kind of viable action.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Sending hugs and love and heartfelt sympathy. I'm linking right now...

Quiltdivajulie said...

Beautiful post ~ off to fill out the form!

Sherry said...

Sorry about your lost. I will be filling out the form. Great job that your doing. I myself will be making a quilt but I will send it to our Alzheimer's group so they can do something with it.I hope this will be ok with you.

Clare said...

Michele my dear. I'm so sorry to read about your father. What a truly courageous man he was and he's left a big hole in all your lives.

I don't think me signing the petition will do any good, but I can say that I'm thinking of you very much and sending you big big cyber hugs.

Take care of you.

Sue said...

Michele, we do what we must, but sometimes it just seems almost too much to bear. I will fill out the petition and please know that I am thinking of you and your family, especially your mom. Your liberated quilter friend, Sue

Anonymous said...

Michele, sending best wishes to you and your family, and lib-quilter hugs (((()))) Viv

Helen said...

Michelle - I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Am sending mega hugs and prayers your way for you and your family.

June D said...

Michelle -

Sending good wishes your way. I'm very sorry to hear of your loss.

woolywoman said...

So sorry to hear of your dad's death. I filled out the form!