LOS ANGELES, May 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Actress Martha Madison (Days of Our Lives), whose mother is living with frontotemporal degeneration (FTD), will share her family's young-onset dementia journey as the Keynote Speaker for The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration's 2019 Education Conference. The event, which will be attended by more than 400 people, will be held Friday, May 3 at the LAX Airport Marriott in Los Angeles, CA.
FTD is the most common dementia for people under 60. It causes progressive, irreversible changes to an individual's personality, behavior, movement and/or language. FTD differs from Alzheimer's – it more commonly affects people earlier in life, and it usually leaves memory relatively preserved.
Madison is best known for her role as Belle Black on Days. She has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series; the awards will be presented May 5 in Pasadena. She has also appeared in Criminal Minds, Without a Trace, Law and Order: Criminal Minds, General Hospital and One Mississippi.
"Because so few people have even heard of it – including many doctors -- FTD can be incredibly isolating and alienating," Madison said. "I'm grateful for the chance to connect with hundreds of others who understand the lived experience of FTD at AFTD's Education Conference, and hope that sharing my story can bring new awareness of this still too-little known disease."
Madison will share lessons from and experiences with her mother, Barbara Baggs, who was diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD in 2008 at age 56. Since connecting with AFTD, Madison has appeared in an AFTD public service announcement, shared her story with the press, and raised vital funds in support of the organization's mission by running the 2018 Dallas Marathon.
"It is so important for all families touched by this disease to find connection to others," says Madison. "That has made a significant difference to me and my family… and it's important that you know about this disease and AFTD's work to address it."
AFTD's 2019 Conference offers a full-day program, which will be of interest to health professionals, caregivers, and people living with FTD. Walk-in registration is available, and opens at 8:00 a.m. The AFTD 2019 Education Conference is made possible by our conference sponsors, which include platinum sponsors: Alector; Ionis Pharmaceuticals; and Buffalo Trace Distillery, Gentlemen of the Pappy Van Winkle Classic.
About AFTD: AFTD (www.theaftd.org) is the only national organization dedicated solely to addressing FTD, bringing information, support, and resources for families affected and driving research for a cure. The nonprofit promotes awareness of FTD, educates health professionals, and drives advocacy. AFTD envisions a world with compassionate care, effective support, and a future free of FTD.
SOURCE The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration