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Seth Rogen Testifies at U.S. Senate Committee Hearing on Alzheimer’s Disease

“I dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary, and I can go back to being the lazy, self-involved man-child I was meant to be.” Read More

By / February 27, 2014

Yesterday, Hollywood funnyman Seth Rogen testified before a U.S. Senate Committee hearing on Alzheimer’s Disease. In a poignant speech punctuated with moments of levity and humor (he started off by berating Senator Tom Harkin for not having seen Knocked Up), the actor described his mother-in-law’s decline into dementia, and urged the U.S. government to dedicate more funds and resources to Alzheimer’s research.

By his own admission, Rogen—a “lazy, self-involved man-child”—is an unlikely spokesperson for the debilitating disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. For years, he explained, he thought Alzheimer’s “was something really, really old people got… in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes and being asked the same question over and over.” But when he met his wife Lauren Miller, he experienced firsthand the tragic impact Alzheimer’s has on sufferers and their families:

“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law [Adele Miller], a teacher for 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself, all by the age of 60. Lauren’s father and a team of caregivers dedicate their lives to letting my mother-in-law be as comfortable as she can be. They would love to do more but can’t, because, as you’ve heard, unlike any of the other top ten causes of death in America, there is no way to prevent, cure, or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Rogen condemned the silence and stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s: “It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.” This fact was sadly evidenced by the low turn-out at the hearing, and the actor took to twitter to express his dismay:

 

(He doesn’t just talk the talk: in 2012, Rogen and Miller founded Hilarity for Charity to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s among young people, and encourage them to get involved in fundraising.)

He concluded his speech on a wry, optimistic/slacker note: “I dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary, and I can go back to being the lazy, self-involved man-child I was meant to be.”

Hear, hear.