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Edward Jones Associates’ Turn Pain into Purpose in the Fight to End Alzheimer’s

Edward Jones Associates’ Turn Pain into Purpose in the Fight to End Alzheimer’s
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October 31, 2023
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This post was updated on October 31, 2023.

Edward Jones associates and their families continue to make a difference in the fight to end Alzheimer’s in honor of the people they love, their clients, and in support of all those facing Alzheimer's and other dementia. Meet 12 people whose passion in the fight to end Alzheimer’s is personal.

Victoria Stinson

Headquarters Associate, Arizona

I have vivid memories of my father, a stroke and heart-attack survivor, having trouble remembering anything during one of his frequent hospital stays. He was confused by what day it was and what he was doing. He couldn't remember me or anyone. It was very hard seeing him like that.

It was even harder knowing the statistics. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia is higher for people who have suffered a stroke or who have heart disease. Older African Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer's or other dementia as older Whites. My dad checked all of these boxes. I was worried.

That was about eight years ago. My dad did not end up with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis — his memory problems were due to another health condition, but I will never forget how I felt that day in the hospital. Seeing my father suffer memory loss was frightening. After the experience with my dad, I wanted to do whatever I could so that other people won't ever have to feel that way. I got involved with the Alzheimer’s Association.

Now, my Aunt Etha has been showing signs of dementia. My cousins are doing everything they can for her, but they aren't in a position to do everything she needs. Luckily for her, they know about the resources available to them from the Alzheimer's Association because they have been through this before with my dad.

I continue to stay involved with the Alzheimer's Association because I want to make sure funding stays available to help more families like mine.

Keith Hartley

Principal, Arizona

My connection to Alzheimer's disease dates back to 1992. That was the year that my family learned of my grandfather Gail’s Alzheimer's diagnosis. His decline, like many, was gradual at first – almost imperceptible. I know my grandmother, Margaret, saw the smaller signs much earlier and the burden on her as his disease progressed became very difficult. Although my grandfather quit smoking when I was a baby, eventually he contracted lung cancer as well. These two diseases competed to take down one of the strongest men I've ever known.

I was a graduate student in law school when his situation really progressed. I would travel to see them every other weekend, and I never quite knew what I'd find each visit. Some days, he was reasonably coherent, and even though my visits were short, he was engaged as best he could be. This was when I first learned about hospice care. We lost Grandpa relatively quickly in the Alzheimer's scheme of time – about 9 months from the acute onset of both diseases.

Later in life, as I became a financial advisor, one of the things that surprised me was the level of involvement we developed in clients' lives. (I really didn't expect that!) We knew their stories, we knew their families, we shared their joys, and we shared their tragedies. We asked hard questions about planning for the unexpected. We bore witness to the important milestones in their lives and we became part of the family. Inevitably, medical events frequently take center stage – joint replacements, cancer diagnoses and treatments, surgeries, memory care. Seeing capacity slip from individuals was the most distressing and challenging reality I faced.

Looking back, it's been more than 30 years since Alzheimer's disease visited my family. I've often wondered if the advances in cancer treatment over that period of time – from earlier detection, to better treatments – might have helped Grandpa beat cancer. Yet, even today, his Alzheimer's would have won a longer and more emotionally fraught battle.

Thank you to everyone supporting this cause. I am hopeful for a future where Alzheimer’s can be beat.

Chris Wolschleger

Financial Advisor, Michigan

In 2021 I lost my mom, Sandy, to the relentless grip of Alzheimer's at the young age of 71. For more than six years, she battled the disease. Our family faced tribulations that tested our strength. My Father, her primary caregiver, initially hesitated to accept help until the situation became urgent. Despite living 3 hours away, I dedicated countless hours to being on standby, seeking answers online and over the phone.

One lifeline in those challenging times was the 24/7, free Alzheimer’s Association Helpline. It offered both practical advice and a sympathetic ear. As her condition worsened, my focus shifted to her estate planning. With unwavering determination, I helped my father manage her finances, power of attorney and other legal matters, all while discussing options like long-term care facilities.

Though they opted for self-care at home, my mother spent a few challenging months in a memory care facility. The decision was hard fought, especially for my father, who still grapples with it. Accepting that he couldn't provide all she needed was a poignant realization.

The loss of my mother sparked anger in me, questioning why a cure for this cruel disease remains elusive. In response, I channeled my energy into action. We have organized charity golf outings aptly named "The Sandy Memorial Golf Outing" and have raised more than $27,000 in support of the Alzheimer's Association. In turning my pain into purpose, I've discovered the remarkable ability to transform grief into a force for change.

Beyond my personal journey, this experience has enriched my role as a financial advisor. The empathy and understanding I have gained through navigating my mother's Alzheimer's has allowed me to connect with my clients on a more profound level. As I guide them through their financial decisions, including estate planning and long-term care considerations, I'm able to offer not only expert advice but also heartfelt support. My own story of caregiving has given me a unique insight into the challenges families face, enabling me to provide practical solutions with a genuine sense of compassion.

Erin Morgan

Senior Branch Office Administrator, California

I participate in Walk to End Alzheimer’s as I have lost several people to the disease, including two longtime friends.

Alzheimer’s led to the death of my daughter-in-law’s grandfather, a man I had gotten to know and whose company I enjoyed for more than a decade.

Today, dementia is taking hold of my mom. Prior to COVID, my mom was involved in many activities and very independent. Since then, she has declined tremendously. It’s been a struggle to watch.

My mom’s dementia is affecting our family, and she is now in a facility. I am thankful for Edward Jones’ unwavering commitment in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and their support of the Alzheimer’s Association, whose resources I have found helpful. One resource that has been particularly helpful to me are the ALZ Talks webinars. They have a variety of topics (caregiving, family support, etc.), and they are recorded so you can listen to them later. I encourage anyone who could benefit from them to watch them.

Marc Bickley

Financial Advisor, Oregon

I ran and walked 50 miles on my 50th birthday, which was on June 15 of this year! I set a goal to raise $50,000 for the Alzheimer's Association. I called it 50-50-50 for Alzheimer's!

I got the idea on Facebook, seeing people supporting causes. I used to be a distance runner and I needed to lose some weight. Plus, this cause is personal to me. In my role as a financial advisor at Edward Jones Investments, I have clients and family members affected by Alzheimer’s. Edward Jones is a national sponsor of the Alzheimer’s Association.

I spent months preparing for the big day and lost over 50 pounds. I’ve run up to 15 miles in a day in the past, and I have undertaken 90-mile backpacking trips with my son, but I've never run this many miles before.

On the big day, I ran and walked on the same track that I competed on in high school more than 30 years ago. I started at 3:50 a.m. and finished the day at 7:30 p.m.

Several people from my region came to walk and run with me that day. I always had at least 10 people at the track cheering me on. The local news had me on their live feed throughout the day. It was amazing the love and support that I received from everyone!

Many people that stopped by shared stories about loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s. The community support of those that came out to cheer me on was illustrative of the impact this disease has had on our communities. I'm humbled for the little bit I could contribute to such a worthy cause. I’m at $15,000 (and counting) towards my goal. While I wish more had come in, I’m extremely thankful for those that donated!

Bridget Parker

Senior Branch Office Administrator, Missouri

Over the course of a decade, I watched as my dad’s memories faded. He had Alzheimer’s. My dad worked in construction all his life. He knew his way around everywhere. He could tell you how to get anywhere. And at the end of his life, he was getting lost. It was just so sad. He couldn’t even go 2 miles from his house. It was so hard to watch him just slowly lose everything.

In July 2021, our family moved my dad into a nursing home specializing in Alzheimer’s care. It was just getting too hard for my mom, Dorothy, to take care of him.

Still, about five days a week, Dorothy would bring my dad home for several hours after breakfast. They would come back to the house and watch TV or work out in the yard. The first time we brought him home for the day, we worried it would be a fight to get him to go back to the nursing home, but he surprised us. He told her, “I guess I better get back to work.” He always called the nursing home his work.

Unfortunately, that November he developed COVID, which over the course of two weeks led to pneumonia. He died November 22, 2021, at the age of 81. He passed away before he didn’t know who we were. We were thankful for that.

I started participating in Walk to End Alzheimer’s. I wanted to take action. In 2019, myself and another Edward Jones colleague, Susan Ratz, were asked to take over organizing a local Golf to End Alzheimer’s event that was started 10 years ago. The original organizer, Paul, had Alzheimer’s and couldn’t do it anymore. We have grown the tournament from 24 teams to 36 teams. Over the last four years, the event has raised nearly $60,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association.

I long for the big breakthrough. I raise money to support the work of the Alzheimer’s Association, including advancing research, in hopes that someday we will find a cure. I’m 58, and I worry about developing Alzheimer’s myself.

Anne Ivancho

Headquarters Associate and Alzheimer’s Association Steering Committee member at Edward Jones, Missouri

In 2018, at the age of 64, my mom was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia with aphasia. This diagnosis came 5 months after my Dad lost his battle with cancer.

My siblings and I became the sole caretakers of my now widowed mom. She moved in with my sister, and when my mom needed more supervision, we moved her into an assisted living facility. Within 2 years, she was moved to the memory care side of the facility. After visiting my mom one day, I remember feeling helpless and unable to do anything meaningful to help. It's a terrible feeling!

It was time to do something and the Alzheimer’s Association Steering Committee member at Edward Jones allows me to support an amazing cause with some amazing people! On this committee, I played an instrumental role in promoting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s in my community and helped set-up our Edward Jones booth at the local Walk in Saint Louis.

Sabrina Wilds

Registered Branch Associate, Indiana

My mother suffered from dementia and she lived with me and my family for 7 years. During her last years, I was mentally exhausted by the caretaker role.

A year after my mom died, I reached out to the Alzheimer's Association and asked if I could start a support group. There was not an in person support group close by at the time. That was in 2015, and I have been doing it ever since. I know the heartaches, the struggles, the frustration, the loneliness, the anger and the disappointment that goes with this awful disease. I work to help families! I am passionate about that! It’s a brutal disease and unless you have dealt with it first-hand you don’t really know how terribly hard it really is. It's not a pretty topic, but the work must be done and we must continue with research, education and advocacy for the greater good.

Mark Hoppe

Principal and Alzheimer’s Association Steering Committee member at Edward Jones, Missouri

My 3-year-old daughter is my grandma June’s namesake. Happy memories of my grandmother live on in my bubbly toddler. Memories of my teenage years are marred by painful recollections of my grandma’s extended battle with Alzheimer’s. She was cared for at home by my grandfather, and then spent 6 and a half years in a nursing home.

I remember the thousand-mile stare, her thinking we were someone from her past, and how we slowly lost the person we loved. It was painful for her not to remember who I was, but it was even more painful to watch my dad and grandpa’s interactions with her when she forgot who they were.

As Alzheimer’s stole my grandmother’s ability to walk, talk and perform life’s basic tasks, it was like we had already lost her. I remember my grandfather suffering the most. He visited her every day after he was no longer able to care for her at home — and the cost of care was financially devastating for him.

I see the clear connection between Edward Jones’ purpose and the firm’s strategic alliance with the Alzheimer’s Association. It’s an awful disease that destroys health, depletes finances, strains families and undermines purpose — the four pillars we’re working so hard to help our clients build.

We can take steps to ward against the dreadful effects of Alzheimer’s — such as leading healthy, active lives and planning now to cover the cost of long-term care. However, the best way to beat back this disease is to participate and fundraise for Walk to End Alzheimer’s so that I can be a part of the fight to end Alzheimer’s. I don’t want anyone else in my family — or anyone else’s — to suffer from such a heartbreaking disease.

Paul Morrison

Financial Advisor, Missouri

My mother-in-law, Peggy, passed away due to Alzheimer’s in February 2017. She was the most kind and caring person. She was always willing to help others and had an infectious laugh.

Peggy lived with our family for 4 years until we could no longer provide the round-the-clock care that she required.

We were blessed by the resources available from the Alzheimer’s Association, they had information and programs to help us care for Peggy. We could not have done it for as long as we did without them.

I understand the devastating impact Alzheimer’s has on so many families. I share the story of my mother-in-law as a cautionary tale to encourage my clients to get their affairs in order, including trusts/wills, powers of attorney, passing arrangements and long-term care considerations.

I do not want others to have to deal with this brutal disease. This is why I invite clients to join our Edward Jones branch at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and talk about the importance of volunteerism and donations to help further the work of the Alzheimer’s Association, including advancing research to one day find a cure.

Pam Speta

Retired Partner, Oregon

In 2006, I had a well-established list of clients and was on my way to being named a limited partner at Edward Jones. It was at this time, Rich, my husband, began showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. Soon after, he progressed to Lewy-Body Dementia with Parkinsonism symptoms.

Leaving the firm was not an option for me financially, nor did I want to end my career at Edward Jones, one in which I had worked so hard to build. I spent the next 12 years pursuing two full-time careers: as financial advisor at Edward Jones and as primary caregiver to Rich. My colleagues and clients were very understanding. They helped to provide me the flexibility I needed to continue working and provide full-time care.

But 12 years of handling both my client work and Rich’s care took its toll on me. It was a constant struggle – everything from finding and hiring supplemental caregivers (and the costs that went along with it) to constantly being ‘on call’ for Rich gave me little time to take care of myself. I was constantly sleep-deprived, and since I couldn’t leave Rich alone, I went more than 2 years without seeing my physician.

It wasn’t until after Rich passed away in July 2018, that I realized how grave my own heath had become. My first visit to my doctor revealed I had suffered a heart attack in December 2017. I realized I was unable to continue to pursue my passion at Edward Jones and I retired.

After making a full recovery, I channeled my energy into a new passion: assisting families of people with Alzheimer's, other dementia and Parkinson’s. I received a Certified Nursing Assistant license to gain a better understanding of this disease. I found the funding necessary to develop what is now Forget Me Not Village, a 501c (3) non-profit organization to create a new facility in Roseburg, Oregon. Our job at Edward Jones has always been to overcome challenges for our clients – to make a difference in their lives. And for those, like me, who seek to leave a legacy by making a difference, there’s an opportunity after your career at Edward Jones to do just that – and to do it with passion and purpose. I will spend the rest of my days trying to change the way we view and treat Alzheimer's, other dementia, Parkinson's and brain injury.

Joyce Fennema

Senior Branch Office Administrator, Michigan

I lost my grandma, my mom and my sister-in-law to dementia.

My Grandparents lived right around the corner from us so I was up at their house all the time. My Grandma crocheted afghans. She cross stitched on aprons. My Mom, sister and I received the only crochet bedspreads that my Grandma made. I cherish it because she was showing signs of dementia when she was making them so they were the last things that she ever made.

Grandma has been gone almost 40 years, but I still remember sitting next to her while we drank tea and ate windmill cookies. (They are the best to dip in your tea). Unfortunately, during the last years of her life, she couldn't remember those times because of her dementia.

I Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the wonderful memories I have of drinking tea with my grandma, of getting ice cream with my mom, going over to Edna's house first thing in the morning to cut her hair and finding her eating a meatloaf sandwich for breakfast telling me that it has eggs in it so it was okay to eat for breakfast. I don't want to forget those memories.

I don't want any family to have to go through watching their loved one slowly fade away from them. I will continue to raise money and fight against this disease so that we all can continue to remember all the sweet memories we have of our loved ones. Come join me at the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs. Learn more at Since 2016, Edward Jones has proudly served as a National Presenting Sponsor for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Since then, more than 100,000 participants have walked under the Edward Jones banner. The firm and its associates have raised more than $40 million for the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease. As a firm, Edward Jones has pledged to raise $50 million with an estimated 150,000 Walk to End Alzheimer’s participants by the end of 2025. Learn more.

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