Divided opinions on taxes, gun control, immigration and presidential candidates have set us against each other. Today, I congratulate Maine’s congressional delegation for rising above insurmountable differences and coming together on a vital issue.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins sponsored, and Sen. Angus King, an independent, and Reps. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat, and Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, co-sponsored the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. While HOPE here stands for health outcomes, planning and education, the real hope for those suffering with Alzheimer’s and their families is finding a cure.

The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act provides Medicare coverage for care planning for those diagnosed and ensures that the diagnosis and care planning are included in one’s medical record. This is crucial following a diagnosis to improve outcomes and create a higher quality of life.

Over 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, including 26,000 in Maine. Every 66 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s.

Following my mom’s diagnosis, I spent many hours worrying about her care. I shed many tears for the loss of who my mom was. Could I do more?

What can I say to her when she doesn’t remember me? How do I tell her that I love her, when love doesn’t mean anything to her?

How do I explain to my children that she thinks they are people who just show up from time to time? What can we expect in the future? Where can I turn? The questions never seem to end.

For years, I’ve been an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Association, but it was just a cause. Now I have a reason! Please join me in the Walk to End Alz, the association’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for care, support and research providing a little more hope until we find a cure.

For information about your local walk, check out www.alz.org.

Susan Fritts

Portland