|This is the famous letter that Ronald
Reagan read to the nation when he announced he had
Alzheimer's disease in 1994.
My fellow Americans,
I have recently been told that I
am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's
Upon learning this news, Nancy and
I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private
matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way. In the
past, Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had my cancer surgeries.
We found through our open disclosureswe were able to raise public awareness.
We were happy that as a result, many more people underwent testing. They
were treated in early stages and able to return to normal, healthy lives.
So now we feel it is important to
share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater
awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding
of the individuals and families who are affected by it.
At the moment I feel just fine. I
intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this Earth doing
the things I have always done. I will continue to share life's journey
with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors
and stay in touch with my friends and supporters.
Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's disease
progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was
some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time
comes, I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and
In closing, let me thank you, the
American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve
as your president. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that day may be,
I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal
optimism for its future.
I now begin the journey that will
lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will
always be a bright dawn ahead.
Thank you, my friends. May God always