Together, we are now on the offensive in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease.
Unrelenting and cruel, this disease robs so many of a most precious gift, our memories.
One in nine of us over age 65 will develop Alzheimer’s disease. Every one of us will be touched by this disorder in some way, whether by affected friends or family members.
We are determined to fight back against the specter of Alzheimer’s disease, and we are not alone in this quest. We are joined by scores of supporters who have given to this cause. In record time, less than two years, we have collected more than $41 million to create this region’s first Institute for Alzheimer and Neurodegenerative Diseases that will open this year (see story, Page 33).
This will be a comprehensive care center that will feature expert diagnostics, physicians who are at the top of their fields, support programs for the countless caregivers desperate for relief and hope, and access to clinical trials of new therapies.
It was nearly two years ago when Glenn Biggs, an iconic San Antonio business leader and close friend and mentor to all four presidents of the Health Science Center, came to me seeking guidance on where to go and what to do for his rapidly advancing condition. He was the one in nine.
We could not point him to a comprehensive care center in this region. Nor could we even assure him that interventions were available that could make a difference. That very day, we pledged to fight back.
We have kept our promise to Glenn, even though he is not alive today to see the work he inspired. We will create this new institute in honor of him and for the millions who have lost their memories, and their lives, to this illness.
William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
President and Professor of Medicine
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio