In April, I was honored to participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum in Washington, D.C. Joined by more than 800 people with the disease, caregivers and fellow advocates from across the nation, we appealed to our members of Congress for action on Alzheimer’s disease.

As an Alzheimer’s ambassador to Sen. Angus King, it was my privilege to meet with him and discuss the Alzheimer’s crisis. Currently, there are more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease, being cared for by 15.5 million caregivers. Nearly one in every five dollars spent by Medicare is on people with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

As a banker by profession, I discussed with King how, as a country, we need to do the math. Currently, for every $100 that the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer’s research, Medicare and Medicaid spend $26,500 caring for those with the disease. As we baby boomers age, if a cure or treatment is not found, we will bankrupt this country.

I am thankful for King’s past support of Alzheimer’s disease issues and am seeking his support to increase funding for Alzheimer’s research by $200 million in fiscal year 2015.

Cathy Walters, Hollis Center