‘I can’t think of a more cruel disease’ — DC Alzheimer’s walker recounts her experience

Betsy Biben Selignam walks with Team Tree.

Betsy Biben Selignam lost her mother to Alzheimer’s, and cared for her throughout the 17-year journey. “I can’t think of a more cruel disease,” she said.

The money raised by the annual walks, which number 600 strong across the country, goes for many things including research and help for caregivers.

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The annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s steps off in D.C. this weekend. Unfortunately, for almost every step that’s taken, there’s a story of a person with the disease to go along with it.

Betsy Biben Selignam lost her mother to Alzheimer’s disease, and cared for her throughout the 17-year journey. “I can’t think of a more cruel disease,” she said. “For the last few years, my mother was very aggressive — most people would call it violent.”

She said anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s has “a difficult road to walk — it’s crushing to everyone around.”

Now, Selignam said, she’s walking for Charles Ogletree, professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, who was President Barack Obama’s law professor.

Selignam said she hopes more people get involved in fighting for a cure: “The more people who are enlightened, the more that they will support the cause, and the more support for money coming in.”

The money raised by the annual walks, which number 600 strong across the country, goes toward many things, including research and help for caregivers.

The Alzheimer’s Association’s number is at 800-272-3900. You can also find more news and information about the disease on the association’s website.


Kyle Cooper

Anchor and reporter Kyle Cooper, has been with WTOP since 1992. Over those 25 years Kyle has worked as a street reporter, editor and anchor. Prior to WTOP Kyle worked at several radio stations in Indiana, and at the Indianapolis Star Newspaper.

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