Kansas City, Mo. Former U.S. Rep Dennis Moore, who represented Kansas for 12 years in Congress, announced Wednesday he is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and plans to work to bring awareness to “this insidious disease.”
“It is not an easy thing to hear. But this is the hand I have been dealt, and Stephene (his wife) and I are committed to using the opportunity we have to help make sure this insidious disease gets more public attention,” his statement said.
Moore, a Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 1998 and went on to represent Kansas’ 3rd District until he announced he would not seek re-election for the term that ended in 2011. His wife, Stephene Moore, sought his House seat but was defeated by then-state Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Republican.
The 3rd Congressional District covers Johnson and Wyandotte counties and the eastern portion of Douglas County, including parts of Lawrence.
Moore, 66, said in a statement that he had an initial consultation with physicians in February 2011 and additional testing, followed by a final diagnosis in June 2011.
“The good news is that I feel fine and I’m truly enjoying being with my family and friends on a more regular basis since I retired from Congress,” the statement said. “I know there will be good days and some not so good days over the long term. I wanted to make this announcement now to help draw some attention to Alzheimer’s and to early onset dementia.”
He and his wife plan to work with the Heart of America Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
“In the meantime, we appreciate your respect for our privacy as we also focus on my own health,” the statement said.
Yoder said he was saddened to hear the news and praised Moore.
“As a community, we thank him for his many years of service to our country and for representing the 3rd District honorably while in Congress,” Yoder said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Moore family as they deal with this difficult disease, and our hearts go out to the millions of Americans who struggle every day with the challenges Alzheimer’s brings.”