My late grandmother, Genevieve Madden, was a loving, intelligent, and quick-witted woman. Later in her life, she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and when she eventually succumbed to the disease she was just a shell of her former self. The disease is cruel for those who suffer from it as well as their loved ones who witness the ravages with no way to help. It broke my heart and with my emotions of helplessness and despair, I vowed that I would one day do something significant to raise money for a cure.
I made good on that vow last September by raising money for CURE ALZHIEMER’S FUND and summited Mont Blanc in France in memory of my Grandmother. The experience had such a profound impact on me that I decided to return to the mountains this year and will be climbing Mount Baker. Mount Baker, the highest point of the North Cascades, is a heavily glaciated dormant volcano and considered a classic North Cascades climb.
Once again, the money I raise will go to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. The founders of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund were all very successful business people. And they all had loved ones who suffered from the disease. In spite of their personal financial wealth and resources, there was no way to slow or reverse the disease. In their frustration, they started Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and 100% of all donations go directly to fund research. (The founders and the board pay all overhead expenses.)
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund also has a different “business” model. Early on, they learned that many researchers spend a significant amount of their time not actually doing research but instead preparing the paperwork to obtain grants – and the only research projects that would be awarded were for very small, incremental efforts. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund provides grants to the world’s leading researchers with big ideas and has developed a collaborative model that significantly reduces the required paperwork and time to approval.
In just a few short years, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has had many significant accomplishments and breakthroughs. The Chair of their Research Consortium – Dr. Rudy Tanzi – received the 2015 TIME 100 most influential people for his discovery of Alzheimer’s In A Dish. This allows all researchers to conduct experiments in a much-shortened period of time, allowing breakthroughs to happen more rapidly.
Today, 1-in-9 Americans over 65 and 1-in-3 over 85 suffer from Alzheimer’s. Nearly 2/3 of people with Alzheimer’s are women and it is the 6th leading cause of death in our country. And, with the aging of the Baby Boomer population, the number is expected to triple in a short period of time.
Also, I believe that it is important for me to have skin in the game as well. As such, I will personally match all donations dollar for dollar. All contributions are fully tax deductible. The bigger the check I write to match all of your generous donations the better!