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Author Terry Pratchett has pledged a donation of $1 million to research into Alzheimer’s disease, the degenerative brain disorder he has suffered from for the last few years.

The 59-year-old creator of the “Discworld” series announced the donation at an Alzheimer's Research UK conference in Bristol late last week.

“I have had Alzheimer’s now for the past two years plus,” said Pratchett. “It’s a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small – largely unseen – tragedies. There’s nearly as many of us as there are cancer sufferers, and it looks as if the number of people with the disease will double within a generation. It’s a shock and a shame to find out that funding for research is three per cent of that which goes to find cancer cures.”

Pratchett revealed he had a rare form of the disease in a message on his website in December, which shocked his many fans.

“Soon after I told the world, my website fell over,” he said. “I had more than 60,000 messages in the first few hours.”

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, with around 700,000 sufferers in Britain. Although there is no known cure, several organizations provide support. The Alzheimer’s Research Trust is the UK’s leading research charity for dementia, dedicated to funding scientific studies to treat, cure, or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy Body disease, and fronto-temporal dementia. They rely completely on donations to fund their research.

“Let’s shout something loud enough to hear,” said Pratchett during his speech to the Research Trust. “We need you and
you need money. I’m giving you a million dollars. Spend it wisely.”

To make a donation to the Trust, visit www.alzheimers-research.org.uk.

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