Shriver testifies in Congress about Alzheimer's

March 25, 2009 5:10:26 PM PDT
California First Lady Maria Shriver was in Washington on Wednesday testifying before Congress about Alzheimer's disease.

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She was joined by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich -- who help make up an Alzheimer study group.

Ms. Shriver's father, Sergeant Shriver, has suffered from Alzheimer's since 2003.

"Sergeant Shriver was an idealistic, intelligent, optimistic public servant; sharp, witty, a walking encyclopedia. His mind was a beautifully tuned instrument that left people in awe. That was then and today, he doesn't even know my name," said Shriver.

Wednesday's testimony is meant to raise awareness about the disease and promote community support.

A new study from the Alzheimer's Association finds more than 5 million Americans suffer from the disease. Treating it costs nearly $150 billion a year.

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