October 26, 2014

Comedian becomes unlikely Alzheimer's research advocate

May 15

Main Photo
This image released by Universal Pictures shows Rose Byrne, left, and Seth Rogen in a scene from the film, "Neighbors." (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Glen Wilson)

Actor Seth Rogen is better known for his pot moking characters in movies, but there is another side of this comedian you wouldn't expect- Alzheimer's research advocate.

While dating his future wife, Rogen's mother-in-law, Adele, was diagnosed at the age 55 with early onset Alzheimer's. She is now incapacitated by the disease, unable to eat or stand on her own.

“I think my impression of it was kind of the more na´ve, like, 'Oh, an old person losing their keys' kind of thing. I didn't think it was, like, a completely debilitating disease,” Rogen said in a recent CBS interview, of what he knew of the disease before it touched him personally.

Since then, Rogen has become an outspoken advocate. In February 2014, Rogen took his mother-in-law's story to Washington, D.C., testifying before Congress on the need for Alzheimer's research.

“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself, and go to the bathroom herself, all by the age of 60,” Rogen said in his testimony.

Rogen has even started a charity, Hilarity for Charity to benefit the Alzheimer's Association, where he and his other comedy friends perform across the country to raise money for Alzheimer's research.

Check out the video of Rogen's opening statement before a Senate hearing on Alzheimer's.

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The Observer-Reporter's latest staff series will feature Alzheimer's and dementia. Each month, we will concentrate on different aspects of the disease, from what it is, who is affected, resources, and more. This powerful series will go on for the conceivable future.