The family of a Jim Thorpe Alzheimer's Disease victim has donated a set of four documentary DVDs about the disease to local libraries.
On Tuesday morning, daughters of the late Frank E. Ruff distributed The Alzheimer's Project to the Dimmick Memorial Library, Jim Thorpe; the Palmerton Library; the Lehighton Area Memorial Library; the Panther Valley Library, Lansford; and the Tamaqua Public Library.
The family is joined in the donation by the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association,
The DVDs, valued between $75-$100 per set, include films on The Memory Loss Tapes, Grandpa Do You Know Who I Am? with Maria Shriver, Momentum in Science and Caregivers.
Alzheimer's is a progressive and irreversable brain disorder that destroys memory and other thinking skills. The disease affects an estimated five million Americans today, a number that could balloon to 11 million by 2040.
"We want people to learn not only about Alzheimer's Disease but also how it affects the family and close friends of those with the disease," says Kathy Ruff, a daughter of Frank E. Ruff, who died from the disease in March 2008.
"Knowledge about what Alzheimer's is, research being conducted and how patients and families cope will help dispel some of the fear and stigma about the disease and help caregivers know what to expect."
Kathy Ruff was joined by her sister, Patti Anglovich, as well as Clayton Jacobs, education and outreach coordinator for The Alzheimer's Association's Greater Pennsylvania Chapter, Wilkes-Barre, in presenting the DVDs to the libraries.
"It's exciting for us to receive these, because we don't have up-to-date information on Alzheimer's," said Gayle Heath, Tamaqua Public Library Director. "This will be wonderful for our patrons and even myself."
The Ruff Family will also hold a kick-off for its 2010 Alzheimer's Family Fun Festival and Memory Walk on Saturday, May 1, with a get-together for anyone interested in participating in the festival and/or the walk. This year's event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 9, at Mauch Chunk Lake Park, Jim Thorpe.
The Alzheimer's Project is a presentation of HBO Documentary Films and the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in association with the Alzheimer's Association, Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, and Geoffrey Beene Gives Back Alzheimer's Initiative.
For more information about Alzheimer's Disease or to order a DVD, contact the Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association at 1-800-272-3900 or (570) 822-9915 or online at www.alz.org/pa