Dr. Ariana P. Mullin
My story began when I was twelve, and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Up until that point in my life, I had thought that I might become a doctor. However, as I spoke with my grandmother’s doctors and as I learned about the disease, I became acutely aware of the reality we faced. That reality was that the best modern medicine could do was to manage her symptoms, but her disease course was set and we needed to prepare for what that meant. Watching my grandmother fade, I was frustrated by the lack of treatment options and the absence of a cure. I decided to pursue a career in neuroscience to help understand the underlying cause of the disease and develop new therapies to cure it. Seeing the effects the disease had on not only my grandmother, but also on my entire family and especially on my mother who became her primary caregiver, motivated me to become involved as an Ambassador and advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition to promoting research initiatives, the Alzheimer’s Association is dedicated to supporting the needs and wellbeing of patients and caregivers. By teaming up with the Association, I have the ability to make an impact on multiple facets of this extremely complex disease and the devastation it creates for families that are affected. While we still don’t have a cure, increases in research funding in recent years has enabled significant advances in our understanding of the disease. Further, through initiatives led by the Alzheimer’s Association, there have been significant improvements in disease awareness, patient care, and caregiver and family support. I believe that with continued research funding and advocacy initiatives, an Alzheimer’s diagnosis will one day come with a prescription for hope. I am a Champion for my grandmother, because my grandmother was always mine.