How can Margaret Thatcher be seen as a champion for Alzheimer's?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that there might be a couple of elements that need to be addressed.  The first is that I am not sure Thatcher has been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.  Along these lines, I am not sure that she would be willing to see herself as a champion of it.  Given her hardline policies on individual responsibility and the lack of government influence she wanted to see in actions of the market place, I would find it very interesting if Thatcher would be willing to be used as a spokesperson for Alzheimer's or the condition of dementia.  

I certainly do believe that where Thatcher's strength in her condition of dementia would lie is in how her condition can help to bring greater public awareness to it.  The image of Thatcher not being able to recall the events of the Falklands War is powerful.  Perhaps, this would be compelling enough to galvanize public interest and government research into the domain of pioneering research to find a cure for the condition.  Certainly, the image of her mother becoming victim to this condition was jarring for Thatcher's daughter, reflecting that if Thatcher could become victim to this, anyone can:  

Watching her stuggle with her words and her memory, I couldn't believe it...The contrast was all the more striking because, until that point, she'd had a memory like a website.

It is in here, in the shock of seeing a loved one succumb to dementia and Alzheimer's, where Thatcher might be seen as one to bring attention to this condition.  It is one in which social and governmental forces must commit themselves to helping their people be alleviated from such a condition, a public outcry that might evoke some interesting thoughts from Thatcher, herself.


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