License plate design supports Alzheimer’s research

By Kelsi Borntraeger

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and one Kentuckian has decided to take awareness into her own hands.

Stephanie Gamblin of Princeton, Ky., is taking a stand for the non-curable disease.

In an effort to raise awareness and support research, Gamblin decided to create a specialty Kentucky license plate for Alzheimer’s.

A design has been created, and Gamblin needs 900 people in Kentucky to commit to buying one.

The goal is to get the 900 people committed to the license plate by this summer, and she hopes to receive as many as possible by Dec. 31.

Ashley Schaffner of the Alzheimer’s Association also helped get the project started.

“Personally, I think the plates are a beautiful way for Kentucky drivers to express their concern and support for ending the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States,” Schaffner said.

Gamblin’s father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2004 at the age of 62. She said he has progressively become worse over the years and now he lives in a nursing home.

“I just felt helpless,” she said. “I kept asking myself, what can I do to help?”

For the past few years, Gamblin has wanted to raise awareness and has participated in numerous memory walks to end Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is an irreversible brain disease and a form of dementia that gets worse over time and has no cure.

The disease causes memory impairment, thinking inabilities, judgment problems and a change in personality and behavior.

The risk builds as a person gets older and can run in family history. Having a close blood relative who developed this disease increases the risk of obtaining it.

Gamblin got the idea for the plate while at the Princeton County Clerk’s Office when she noticed the specialty license plates for cancers.

“I wondered why there wasn’t one for Alzheimer’s, so I decided to make this my personal project,” she said.

After talking with the clerk’s office and, Gamblin’s wish has been granted.

“I wanted to do something for my dad,” she said.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s and many elderly people are being diagnosed with this disease. Gamblin asks for help in getting the word out and raising awareness.

Schaffner said 80,000 Kentuckians are affected by the disease.

“The license plates are meant to raise funds that will support local education initiatives,” she said.

Those who apply for the plate will be notified by the local county clerk when the plate is ready, around three months after the 900 commitments are a definite.

There will be a $25 deposit that will be applied to the initial or renewal fee. Applicants will also have the option of including a $10 add-on donation to Alzheimer’s awareness and education in Kentucky.