Seth Rogen went to Washington not to discuss the legalization of marijuana, but rather a cause closer to his heart.
The actor testified before a congressional committee Wednesday on the importance of increasing funding for Alzheimer's disease, which affects more than 5 million Americans. And in it, Rogen managed to add something that has rarely been seen inside the doors of Congress or in a discussion about Alzheimer’s: humor.
“Americans whisper the word Alzheimer's because their government whispers the word Alzheimer’s,” Rogen said. “And although a whisper is better than the silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
Rogen’s mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s soon after he met her, at the age of 54. He, like many others, had associated the disease with old age and forgetting simple things like the location of your keys. But when his mother-in-law lost the ability to talk and perform the most basic functions by age 60, Rogen knew he had to do something about it—and even started the charity Hilarity for Charity.
Most importantly for him, he wants more education to take away the “shame and stigma” around Alzheimer’s and to increase research.
“I dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary, and I can go back to being the lazy, self-involved manchild that I was meant to be,” Rogen said.
The testimony seemed to be well-received by the committee, but as Rogen later noted on Twitter, not many people were even at the hearing.
Not sure why only two senators were at the hearing. Very symbolic of how the Government views Alzheimer's. Seems to be a low priority.— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 26, 2014
Photo via C-SPAN/YouTube