International Awards
Mano Amiga

The organization has decided to honour the work of the researcher Jesús Ávila , the French Embassy Consultant Secretary, Cyrille Rogeau and the carer Manuel Díez.

This evening Alzheimer León held the 4th Edition of its Mano Amiga awards , with which it aims to recognize the work undertaken and commitment shown to fighting the disease in different fields every year. At a very well-attended ceremony held in the City of León Auditorium , and promoted by the ICAL Agency , more investment was called for to be able to continue working in research , to continue progressing , with the aim of minimizing the effects of the disease.

Irma Soriano, Adolfo Álvarez Barthe y Manolo Martínez

The president of Alzheimer León, Mercedes García, stressed the difficulties which had to be overcome to be able to stage the 4th Edition of these awards in a “ beautiful ” ceremony which aimed to recognize the efforts made in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease. In this latest edition , public recognition was given to the French Government for the pioneering nature of its National Alzheimer’s Plan , to the carer Manuel Díez , who has looked after his wife ,( NOTA DEL TRADUCTOR – si la mujer ya ha fallecido , se quita la palabra “ has “ delante de “ looked”) an Alzheimer’s sufferer , for almost 30 years , and to the scientist Jesús Ávila for his contribution to understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.

García stressed the need to access greater investment to be able to diagnose the disease “ before people get it” , and be able to carry out an early diagnosis which makes the disease progress “ more slowly” ; a total cure is today still not possible , regretted the president of Alzheimer León.

The Mano Amiga award in the Institutional category , which recognizes the work of organizations and institutions , public or private , was this year given to the French National Alzheimer’s Plan , which in 2001 became the first national plan to fight dementia in Europe ; it is a pioneering plan which faces up to the triple challenge which is Alzheimer’s Disease – scientific , medical and social.

The French Embassy Consultant Secretary in Spain , Cyrille Rogeau , received this award “ with honour” in recognition of a “ quite successful “ plan to fight “ such a terrible “ disease as Alzheimer’s , against which work is being undertaken “ to do the utmost ”. In our neighbouring country , funding has been maintained for years , and even increased , “ to improve treatment of the disease “ ; the French Government also plans to propose new measures soon “ to go even further “ , explained Rogeau.

The Mano Amiga award in the Individual category , which recognizes the work of professionals in this field , was given to the biologist and scientist Jesús Ávila de Grado , for his outstanding contribution to public awareness of the disease. Ávila conceded that lack of funding is the main barrier , and this highlights the difference with the United States , which is a world reference in treatment of the disease. As far as the disease itself is concerned , he explained that the importance of the genetic factor in the disease is understood , although he regretted that diagnosis is made “ very late in the day ” of a “ silent “ disease which causes a “ brutal degeneration”.

For this reason , work should be undertaken to establish “ very early on “ markers to be able to start treatment in the symptomatic phase , and before the diagnosis is “ more obvious”. With this aim , Ávila insisted on the need for prevention as a fundamental element in managing to minimize the effects of the disease which is Alzheimer’s.

Lastly , the Mano Amiga award in the category of Individual Recognition from the general public , which recognizes the work undertaken anonymously by individuals and groups in aid of sufferers , was given to the carer Manuel Díez , 89 years old and from León , who for almost three decades looked after his wife , ( NOTA DEL TRADUCTOR – si no ha fallecido aún , se añade la palabra “ has “ delante de “ looked”) an Alzheimer’s sufferer. Manuel recounted the difficulties he has ( NOTA DEL TRADUCTOR – se omite “ has “ por la razón expresada arriba ) had in looking after his wife Basilia , whose needs went ( NOTA DEL TRADUCTOR – si la señora sigue viva , se omite “went” y se pone “ have gone “ ) through six different stages , some of them especially challenging , for such a long time that the development of the disease and of its treatment have undergone great changes.

Once again hosted by Irma Soriano , on this occasion accompanied by the former Olympic athlete Manolo Martínez , the ceremony broke with tradition and opted for surprise and interaction in an event which brought together well-known professionals from the fields of art , gastronomy , literature , photography and music , who invited the audience to enjoy a sensorial experience of memory. Artículo original

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