March 2016

The Judy Fund
Dear Friends and Family,

In December, Alzheimer's research funding celebrated a historic win. In March, the Association will release the 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report. In April, our advocates will join together in Washington, D.C., at the Alzheimer's Association Advocacy Forum. And in July, researchers from around the world will gather to share the latest study results, theories and discoveries that will help bring the world closer to breakthroughs in dementia science at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference® (AAIC®) in Toronto.

The Judy Fund and our generous supporters continue to be an important part in these extraordinary advances in the fight against Alzheimer's disease. We have so much to celebrate and so much to achieve. But I know that we can do it…and will do it…together.

Ambassadors efforts help lead to historic funding increase
Thanks to your support, The Judy Fund, the Alzheimer's Association's largest family fund, has been able to help successfully build and grow the Association's Ambassador program. These advocates were a critical part of the effort it took to yield the largest-ever annual increase in federal Alzheimer's disease research funding. This funding has been signed into law by President Barak Obama in late December. This historic $350 million boost brings the amount allocated for Alzheimer's research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to nearly $1 billion per year.

Elizabeth and George-Ann Hyams at the Advocacy Forum 2015
A white board, a marker and an eraser — an unexpected way to talk with my father
By: Nancy Stark

During the last year of my father's life, communication was very tough. While Dad still recognized me and found pleasure in spending time together during my visits from Los Angeles to Sylvania, OH, his words were few and consisted primarily of automatic phrases. The special twinkle he had in his eye for me was rarely visible. It was on a visit in the late summer of 2014 that I stumbled upon a more meaningful way to connect.

Rather than asking questions aloud, I found that Dad could respond to my written questions by writing his answers. We started using a small white board and markers to "talk". It seemed that there was an untapped pathway to communicate that bypassed speaking altogether. While I was the one to initiate conversations, Dad was an active and focused participant. In response to my specific written questions, he wrote that Italy was his favorite place in Europe and that he wanted chocolate ice cream for dessert.

I believed that thoughts and feelings were still deep inside that Dad was unable to express. That proved to be true in the last conversation we had, just two months before he passed. Some of our words, using the white board were:

  Dad, tomorrow I'm going back to Santa Monica.
Safe travels
I have loved spending time with you.
Me too
I love you very much.
Feelings mutual
It will be hard to say goodbye.
Pictured: Nancy Stark and her father

I feel grateful and lucky to have found a way to “talk” with my Dad which I feel certain was meaningful to us both.

No Shave November update
The men of Sigma Alpha Mu (EAM) Fraternity have done it again. This past November they "grew their beards long to help keep brains strong" in No Shave November for The Judy Fund, raising over $36,000 and a lot of scruff for the second year of this hirsute happening. The leading chapters were Beta Iota, University of Wisconsin at Madison, with $13,034; Mu Psi, Miami University of Ohio, with $7,796; and Epsilon Nu, University of Connecticut, with $3,411.
Mind&Heart update
Over the past two years, The Judy Fund Salon Series has taken Mind&Heart coast-to-coast to bring women together for lively discussions, led by scientific experts, about the vascular connection between our brains and our hearts, and how women can keep these vital organs healthy. We have shared this timely topic with over one thousand baby-boomer women, who, like many of you, are deeply engaged in their brain and heart health and fear dementia and Alzheimer’s for themselves and their families.

We want to keep the conversation going and continue to use this platform to play a vital part for women. To that note, we have a challenge for you that can save women’s brains: for every dollar donated to The Judy Fund by June 30, 2016, the Gelfand family will match up to $100,000 with a gift to the Women’s Alzheimer’s Research Initiative (WARI) at the Alzheimer’s Association. You can read more about WARI and The Judy Fund’s leadership roll here.

The amazing doctors and hostesses of
Mind&Heart San Francisco

Dr. Jill Kalman, Doreen Hurwitz Gelfand, Tamar Hurwitz, Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, Stefanie Moss Baker, Nancy Kessler, Dr. Maria Carrillo

Missing from the photo – Sandy Rechtschaffen and Marcie Moss Gelfand with special thanks to Jane Herzog

Let's help save our brains together.
The year has just begun!

Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns
Chair, The Judy Fund
At the end of 2015, in downtown LA Chinatown, I cracked open a fortune cookie that was meant to be in my hands. Following the thoughts behind fortunes such as these, The Year of the Monkey 2016 is a good year to break free and take calculated risks as there is nothing more powerful or rewarding than following your heart's desire. Now is the time to shake things up, create change, and innovate a new path. Even the most ambitious plans can succeed. Let's make this year our best year yet!  
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's disease®.

Alzheimer's Association National Office, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601
© 2015 Alzheimer's Association. All rights reserved.
800.272.3900 | | Donate

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