Speaking before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, actor Seth Rogen shared a not-so-familiar side of himself. The actor, known for his starring roles in raucous comedies, assumed a more serious, yet at times playful, tone Wednesday when he delivered a testimony on his mother-in-law’s struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. His touching story was a call-to-action in hope that the government will do more to aid research and funding.
“I came here today for a few reasons. One, I’m a huge House of Cards fan,” he said. “…People need more help. I’ve personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes…”
Both of Rogen’s in-laws have Alzheimer’s disease, but the actor described the especially challenging experience for his mother-in-law, Adele. She was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s at 55 years old. At the time, Rogen says, he had limited knowledge of the condition."I thought the way the disease showed itself was in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes, and being asked the same question over and over again." Instead, he explained, his mother-in-law could no longer identify herself or her loved ones. "She forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself, all by the age of 60."
As a personal contribution to the Alzheimer’s community, Rogen and his wife, Lauren Miller, started “Hilarity for Charity” in 2012 to raise awareness and educate younger generations about the disease. Alzheimer’s affects five million Americans — a number that could jump to 16 million, Rogen said. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the degerative disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.
Watch the video below for Rogen’s complete testimony to the Senate subcommittee: