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Dr. Sandy Halperin

Several months ago I was introduced on LinkedIn to a man named Sandy Halperin, a Florida dentist with young onset Alzheimer’s disease.  I was  am so impressed by his candor and openness when discussing his disease, (and the fact that he has roots in South Florida and loves the Florida State Seminoles).  He is determined to dispel the stigma and elephant-in-the-room awkwardness surrounding the Alzheimer’s disease conversation.  I had the honor of listening to Sandy’s presentation at the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum in Washington DC in April of this year.  His message was very powerful and well delivered, the take-home message being that people should talk about Alzheimer’s (particularly TO the people with the disease) with the same care and concern they would if they were talking to someone with cancer or back pain.  Sandy would like you to know that he has a disease, and that is it ok to acknowledge it.

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At the Senate hearing where Glen Campbell’s family testified, I introduced myself to Sandy like a star-struck teenager.

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Meeting Sandy compels me to want to do more.  He has been a warrior since he was diagnosed, taking on advocacy and awareness with a stigma-busting purpose.  Here is a public service announcement he filmed with his daughter earlier this year.  Watch for more projects from Sandy in the near future.

It must be exhausting being a superhero.

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One comment

  1. Julie, I’m sorry to hear of your mom’s diagnosis. I can reatle, however, to the reusable bags part I constantly forget mine in my car, too. And even though I see them on display in the store I STILL don’t remember until I’m in the middle of checkout. Doh!

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