My grandfather died of pneumonia when I was 16.
In the years before my grandfather’s death, aging slowly robbed him of his health, his strength, his happiness, and his dignity. He exists in my memories, through vicarious stories, as the strong hero who persevered through unspeakable adversity during the Communist Revolution. Who sacrificed much in order to immigrate to Canada.
But he also exists in my memories more directly as as a quiet, frail, old man who suffered greatly as his body broke down. The last several months of his life were spent confined to a hospital bed, barely able to speak.
No one should have to suffer like that. And yet many do.
Society tolerates the suffering of our elderly loved ones because the majority do not think biological aging is a disease– or that we can do something about it. It is my hope that one day we will all open our eyes, rise up, and muster all manner of our scientific and technological ingenuity to end the inhumanity of biological aging once and for all.