TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Late country music legend Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011. He passed away in August and now his wife Kim Campbell is an advocate for all people living with the disease.
"Staying involved in the Alzheimer's community and continuing what Glen started, as far as educating the public about the disease and trying to encourage others, is very therapeutic for me. So I intend to continue doing that," she said.
The Alzheimer's Alliance of Smith County held the Butterfly Hope Luncheon to help bring awareness to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
Executive Director Stephanie Taylor said there is still work to be done to help those affected by the disease.
"Currently there's no treatment; there's no cure," Taylor said. "But we're really hopeful about new research that's coming out about prevention and treatment."
Taylor said the number of people living in the United States with Alzheimer's is expected to increase by 40 percent in the next eight years.
"There's about five million people in the U.S. living with Alzheimer's and so if you take that number and think about the number of family members and caregivers who are supporting people living with dementia, that number can triple or quadruple," she said.
According to the organization, Texas ranks fourth in the nation for the number of patients with Alzheimer's disease. Campbell said this is why she believes her husband chose to go public and share his battle with the world.
"He really had a passion to share his journey with Alzheimer's with people and hopefully to ... raise awareness and push the country forward toward finding a cure," she said.