War a must on world’s 18th largest economy, Dementia
Tuesday March 22, 2011
In 2010, it doubled US Oil giant Exxon Mobil’s annual revenue of $300 billion, and although its cost is one that wastes away a person’s mind, Dementia is out-performing the world’s largest companies – a performance one Australian man is keen to see slump and tip the scales in the other direction.
Businessman, singer songwriter and self-confessed Dementia warrior-activist, Joseph C Portelli, is enduring his own personal trauma of watching his father consumed by the disease – an experience he says,” no-one should have to go through, but inevitably will.”
A disease that takes healthy vibrant adults and turns their minds to mental mush – Dementia is out performing cancer, heart disease and stroke at a rapid rate.
Figures released in Alzheimer’s Disease International World Alzheimer Report 2010, show 35.6 million people world-wide lived with Dementia last year, increasing to 65.7 million by 2030 115.4 million people by 2050.
As disturbing as the figures are, Joseph is committed to making a difference in the fight against Dementia. Driven by the quick deterioration of his father, he is determined to form a movement that will force governments to prioritise the disease and declare war on it.
No stranger to speaking out about the disease, and the impact of his song ‘How the Times Have Changed,’ has seen him appointed by Alzheimer’s Disease International as its Ambassador – where he has traveled the world performing before dignitaries like Princess Yasmin-Aga Khan, daughter of Hollywood screen legend Rita Hayworth and Dementia sufferer, and wife of the late Sir Edmund Hillary, Lady Jane Hillary.
Joseph has also been invited by the Maltese community in Australia, to perform live in front of Maltese President, George Abela, on Wednesday March 23, in Melbourne.
Using his music to convey a powerful message about Dementia and the impact it has on family, friends, social care services and government, Joseph is desperate to tell those who are in power so they can get involved and stop the damn wall from bursting.
Likening himself to a musical samurai warrior, where his song has become the international anthem for the Disease, Joseph’s crusade is to sing to the world’s leaders about Dementia and the devastating effect it is having on everybody and the health economies of the world.
Joseph’s fight against Dementia is personal, and just as it is so for him, he wants to take up the fight for everybody that has to live through this demoralising disease.
“It’s hard to believe a disease like Dementia cost the world in 2010 $604 billion. That is close to what Walmart and Exxon combined sales revenues are,” he said.
According to Joseph, many 30-year olds of today will fall victim to Dementia in the future.
“My aim is to get Governments to prioritise the disease and ensure they invest heavily into research and provide appropriate support services, so the young of today and their families of the future don’t have to endure what my family and I and many others have had to put up with,” Joseph said.
“The facts and statistics are damning, what’s worse,” he said, “is seeing what people have to go through and how it impacts emotionally on family and friends.”
He said the time to act is now and governments have to move quickly. ”We are now in a race against time.”
Click here to watch is Video of “How The Times Have Changed”