Novelist Pratchett donates $1M to Alzheimer research

March 13, 2008 5:56:07 PM PDT
LONDON (AP) - British novelist Terry Pratchett said Thursday he will donate $1 million to fund research into Alzheimer's disease, the incurable illness he was diagnosed with last year. The best-selling fantasy writer announced in December that he has early-onset Alzheimer's, a rare form of the disease that strikes before age 65. Pratchett is 59.

Pratchett said the donation would go to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, a British charity.

"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," the writer told the charity's annual conference.

He said Alzheimer's was "a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small, largely unseen tragedies."

Pratchett is best known for his Discworld fantasy series. More than 55 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.

The writer said he had reacted to his diagnosis with "a sense of loss and abandonment (and a) violently coherent fury."

"That fire still burns," Pratchett said, but reassured fans that he plans to continue writing.

His latest work, "Making Money," was published in September and Harper Children's was due to publish a non-Discworld novel, "Nation," in 2008.


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