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Why I Got Involved
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A personal connection to the disease is what weaves together these individuals and is what drives them to fight Alzheimer's. They have seen their mothers, fathers and other loved ones slip away from the disease – and they are determined to not let their children and grandchildren grapple with the same fate.

Listen to some of our Alzheimer's Association Champions share their personal experiences and why they got involved with our mission.

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Christine Fears Branche (Running time 3:17)

"We've got to find a way to manage Alzheimer's and ultimately find a way to prevent it. You wouldn't want this to happen to your family. Let's see if we can stop it from happening to all families."

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Charles Cole (Running time 3:02)

"I remember the day I walked in the door, looked into her eyes and said, 'Hi Mom.' She looked back with that cold dark stare, and she didn't know who I was. She didn't know me."

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Cathy Edge (Running time 2:55)

"The most important thing is to let people know that they are not alone in this fight. There are thousands and thousands of us out there willing to fight with them."

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Marshall Gelfand & Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns (Running time 4:29)

"My father came to me and said that there are a lot of things we cannot do to take care of mom because she is fading. But I do know there are some things we can do. We decided to set up The Judy Fund."

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Larry Jodsaas (Running time 1:31)

"One of the things I have learned over time is that as we have the ability to give back to society, we have the responsibility to do that."

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John Osher (Running time 4:02)

"When my father passed away from Alzheimer's disease, it was logical for me to spend time and money to fight it. I could see research was starting to round the corner and felt that my involvement could matter."

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Darlene Shiley (Running time 2:38)

"Sometimes you just want to sit down and cry. But I finally found a way to channel it. The way I channeled it was to start Funding a Difference. I listened to the scientists talk, and I thought, Ok, I'm a part of this – I'm doing something. It takes a little bit of the pain away."

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Robert Thomas (Running time 2:48)

"My message to donors and the federal government is to change the platform of federal funding. It's time to look at Alzheimer's as the real epidemic that it is."

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Michael Urbut (Running time 3:33)

"The disease took a relentless presence in our lives. My father would call from work and say to me, 'You can't go out with the boys to the park and play baseball. You have to stay home and make sure Mom doesn't get lost.' In the eyes of an 8 year old, that's especially tough."

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Lawrence Varnes (Running time 4:07)

"I've never seen an organization with such focus, passion and care for those people affected. It was immediately obvious to me that indeed this was a cause that I could put a lifelong worth of work against and try to make a difference for other families feeling the same kind of pain I felt as I watched my dad slip quietly into the abyss."

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Joanne Vidinsky (Running time 3:34)

"My passion began when my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. I suddenly realized we could have passed this along to our sons. I became incensed that nothing was being done about this disease."

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Alzheimer's Association

Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's
Formed in 1980, the Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research.