Terry Pratchett Pledges $1 Million To Alzheimer's Researchby Contributor | 13 March 2008
Author Terry Pratchett has donated $1 million (£491,000) to help research into Alzheimer's disease, which he was diagnosed with in December.
The Discworld writer said he intends to "scream and harangue while there is time" about the urgent need for more research into the debilitating disease.
The donation to the Alzheimer's Research Trust (Art) was announced ahead of Mr Pratchett's speech at the charity's annual network conference in Bristol.
He said he was shocked to discover that funding for Alzheimer's research is just three per cent of that to find cancer cures, despite numbers with each condition being almost the same.
About 700,000 people in the UK have Alzheimer's disease; for every person with Alzheimer's, £11 is spent each year on UK research compared with £289 for each cancer patient.
"I am, along with many others, scrabbling to stay ahead long enough to be there when 'the cure' comes along. Say it will be soon," Mr Pratchett said, adding that he would "eat the arse out of a dead mole if it offered a fighting chance".
"In most cases, alongside the sufferer you will find a spouse suffering as much."
ART chief executive Rebecca Wood said the $1 million donation would fund "promising research which hopes to find ways to slow down or halt the disease".
"While we were deeply saddened to learn of Mr Pratchett's diagnosis, we are delighted that he has chosen to speak out about his experiences with Alzheimer's disease, to raise awareness about its impact and the desperate need for more research," she added.
"Research is the only way to beat this disease and help people like Terry to prevent them losing their thinking skills and keep them doing the things they love."