Former Congressman Dennis Moore disclosed Wednesday that he was diagnosed last year with Alzheimer's disease.
In a statement, Moore said the initial diagnosis was made in February 2011, which was just a month after he stepped down as congressman. He said further tests in Kansas City and St. Louis confirmed the diagnosis last summer.
"It is not an easy thing to hear," he said. "But this is the hand I have been dealt, and Stephene and I are committed to using the opportunity we have to help make sure this insidious disease gets more public attention."
Moore, 66, said he is feeling fine and enjoys being with family and friends more regularly. The former Johnson County district attorney was elected in 1998 as a Democrat to Congress. The Republicans launched full throttled campaigns against him but never defeated him.
He stepped down after casting some controversial votes, including supporting President Barack Obama's healthcare reform act. His wife, Stephene, sought to replace him, but voters chose Republican Kevin Yoder.
"I know there will be good days and some not so good days over the long term," Moore said in his statement. "I wanted to make this announcement now to help draw some attention to Alzheimer's and to early onset dementia."
Moore said he is working 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," he said.
In a statement issued Wednesday night, Yoder said he was sad to learn about Moore's health issues.
"Congressman Moore had a distinguished career representing the people of the 3rd District of Kansas. 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," he said. "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."
Former Congresswoman Karen McCarthy, D-Kansas City, died in 2010 at age 63 after it was revealed in 2009 that she was in an assisted living facility while battling the disease.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:58:40 GMT
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