This references your December 24 issue, page 15. I refer specifically to the piece by Anne Moore (who has not yet responded to a message I left for her on December 26).
Making a point at the expense of Alzheimer's or any disease demonstrates an incredible lack of sensitivity, poor taste and ignorance on the part of Ms. Moore. I am disappointed that the Reader would run such an appalling piece.
The signs of Alzheimer's listed in your paper are only the tip of the iceberg. I wouldn't wish this disease on my worst enemy. My mom died of Alzheimer's two years ago. After experiencing the "signs" you listed, it took eight agonizing years for this debilitating disease to run its course. I watched my mom, a strong and independent woman, reduced to a 90 pound, nonverbal, incontinent, nonresponsive person who would lie in bed day after day in a fetal position.
How dare Anne Moore reduce such a devastating disease into a tool to make an inane political point. Shame on her and the Reader for exercising poor judgment and taste and for diminishing the memory of my mom, Olivia Harrington, and millions of others.
I realize that your first amendment right allows you freedom of speech, but at what cost?
I hope in the future you will use better judgment and be more responsible.
E. 73rd St.
Anne Moore replies:
Shame on the senator whose words and actions cause her constituents to consider her a victim.
My father died recently from an idiopathic disease that destroyed his cerebellum, the portion of the brain that governs movement. Were my senator responsible for physically transporting me, I wouldn't hesitate to use the early symptoms of that disease--falling down, lack of coordination--to express my reservations about my senator's ability to do his or her job. When I think of my father I remember the man, not the disease that killed him. I hope you reach that point in grieving your mother.