'Avengers' Actor Samuel L Jackson Talks Alzheimer’s, Says the Disease Ravaged 6 of His Relatives
"Avengers" star Samuel L Jackson is backing a campaign intending to end the misconception that Alzheimer's disease is an expected part of old age.
The Hollywood legend is making the campaign more relatable by sharing how he lost six relatives to the sickness. Samuel's mother, grandfather, aunts, and uncles were all diagnosed with the form of dementia. The condition eventually made him a stranger to the affected parties.
The loss of those siblings led the 70-year-old to call for support to put an end to the 'cruel' condition as reported by Metro. Speaking about Alzheimer's Research UK's #ShareTheOrange campaign, Samuel said:
"I've been surrounded by Alzheimer's most of my life. My grandfather was my best friend growing up, so it was heartbreaking for me to see him not know who I was. The same happened with my mother soon after she was diagnosed. Her mother had it, her brother had it, her sister had it, and so did my aunt on my father's side. It is so cruel having someone who has nurtured you and taken care of you reach a point where they can't even recall your name."
"The damage to a brain with Alzheimer's can leave it weighing 140g less than a healthy one. That's about the weight of an orange. This shows us it is a physical disease."
The actor then calls on individuals to "share the orange" while explaining that Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia.
Samuel and Alzheimer's Research UK have hopes that the campaign will help people understand that Alzheimer's isn't an inevitable aspect of aging. The "Pulp Fiction" star also wants people to realize that the disease can be slowed and ultimately cured.
Also speaking about the campaign, the chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, Hilary Evans, stated:
"Alzheimer's Research UK relies almost entirely on public donations to support its work, and the enduring misconception that dementia is an inevitability hinders our ability to recruit volunteers for research, secure funding, and press for further government support for research."
Samuel L Jackson isn't the first star to back the charity's campaign which launched in 2016. Actor and director Bryan Cranston and "Dr. Who" star Christopher Eccleston have both backed the campaign as reported by Daily Mail.