Gerry Nogelo

When Gerry Nogelo of Vero Beach, Fla., turned 70 on Nov. 8, 2012, she only had one wish—to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. So she mailed more than 40 letters to her friends and family asking them to make a donation to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in honor of her birthday. She wrote:

“I am asking you to consider sending a donation to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in honor of my 70th birthday. It would be the most important and blessed gift you could give to me. Every little bit will help find a cure.”

Nogelo lost her mother, aunt and uncle to the disease. “They all started showing signs of the illness around age 75,” explains Nogelo. “I took care of my mother for eight years and my aunt for 11 before they both passed away.” Nogelo found out about Cure Alzheimer’s Fund through her friend, Phyllis Rappaport, co-founder of the organization. Nogelo’s family and friends have donated a total of more than $1,400 in her honor.