A couple from New Hampton has just returned from a trip to the nation’s capitol to lobby for more federal support of Alzheimer’s research. Gene Gratz of New Hampton started losing his eyesight at age 53, and after trips to various doctors, he learned it was a symptom of Alzheimer’s. He had to quit his job and he no longer can drive. Carol, his wife, says her husband has lost his independence, and she went to Washington to illustrate that Alzheimer’s isn’t just a “senior citizen’s” disease, it causes great financial hardships to younger people, too. Carol says she and her husband worry their 11-year-old son will inherit the disease, another reason she lobbied hard for at least a billion dollars from the feds for research. In the current year, just over a half billion dollars in federal funds are being spent to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.