On February 26, B.C. actor Seth Rogen testified in front of the U.S. Senate's Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, which is currently holding a hearing on Alzheimer's research.
Between light-hearted remarks about tacos, House of Cards, and pot—"yes, I'm aware this [proceeding] has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana"—the 31-year-old actor shared his personal experiences with Alzheimer's disease.
Rogen broke the ice with a joke about how the subcommittee's Sen. Jerry Moran hadn't seen the movie Knocked Up, to which Moran replied, "I want the record to know, this is the first time, I will wager, this is the first time in any Congressional hearing in history that the words 'knocked up' have ever been used."
Rogen recounted how his mother-in-law was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's at age 54; within six years, she forgot how to speak, eat, get dressed, and use the washroom unassisted.
"Another thing I didn't realize until I was personally affected was the shame and stigma of the disease," he said, noting cancer sufferers once held the same shame. "It's because of this lack of hope and shameful stigma that my wife, some friends, and myself decided to actually try and do something to change the situation."
He described his work with his charity, Hilarity for Charity, which raises money to help families struggling with Alzheimer's as well as for research into the disease, which has risen by almost 70 percent in the last 15 years.
"So few people share their personal stories," Rogen declared, "so few people have something to relate to. I know that if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this, it would probably make us feel a little less alone."
After his appearance, Rogen took to Twitter to express his disappointment at how few U.S. senators were present during his remarks.
All those empty seats are senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer's. Unless more noise is made, it won't change. pic.twitter.com/xDW6tlMHmH— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) February 26, 2014