Beloved Mets champ Bud Harrelson, family advocate for Alzheimer’s awareness

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HAUPPAUGE -

Longtime Mets shortstop and Long Island Ducks coach Bud Harrelson and his family are advocating for more Alzheimer’s disease public awareness.

News 12’s Doug Geed visited Harrelson, who will turn 75 in June, at his home in Hauppauge Thursday. He remains in great physical shape and still has his sense of humor, but does show signs of memory loss since first being diagnosed with the disease in 2016.

Kim Battaglia, Harrelson’s ex-wife, is among the family members who are with him all the time, along with a part-time caregiver.

MORE: Mets great Tom Seaver diagnosed with dementia at 74 

“Bud's the kindest and gentlest person I've ever known,” she told News 12. She says that Bud “knows what he wants to say” but struggles to express it verbally.

Members of the Long Island chapter of the Alzheimer's Association were among the advocates from across the state who went to Albany this week, seeking money for a public awareness campaign. They want Long Islanders to know there are free services available for people dealing with the disease.

The chapter will hold a planning conference at the end of the month.

Battaglia says “don’t ignore the early signs” of Alzheimer’s disease: “The sooner you identify Alzheimer's as the cause of a memory loss, the earlier you can get your affairs in order.”

 

Extended interview with Battaglia and Harrelson

 

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