Sometimes things happen for a reason – and in unexpected ways. It was an early dinner date with a doctor/acquaintance of mine. Nothing out of the ordinary, one would say. The conversation turned towards my father and the fact that he has Alzheimer’s Disease. All of a sudden a thought came over me: “Wouldn’t it be great if someone starts an Alzheimer’s Prize for the Alzheimer’s Cure?”, I asked him. His face lit up, “Yes! That would be awesome!”, he replied and before the conversation could develop any further, I quickly changed the topic.
As I was driving home, the thought began to haunt me. “Why ‘someone’ and why not me?”, I asked myself. I had shed more than enough tears since my father was diagnosed in 1999 and spent many, many sleepless nights dreading the day that I would walk through my parents’ door and he would say “Who are you?” Much as I tried, that thought wouldn’t leave me and always managed to throw me into a state of panic. On that particular day I came to the realization that my tears weren’t helping my Dad any and that if I wanted to help him and many millions of Americans just like him, I had to become proactive. At that moment the seed for the Alzheimer's CURE Foundation, Inc., (also known in the past as Alzheimer's Prize Foundation for the Cure, Inc.) began taking shape and form in my mind. This was my only glimmer of hope that maybe a cure would be found during my Dad's lifetime and, at any rate, save many millions of lives who are – or one day will be – afflicted with Alzheimer's.
Jim Daly was a personal friend of mine from East Hampton, New York. I knew of his experience and his success as a CFO in non-profit as well as for profit organizations. I called him, “I’m thinking of starting The Lascarides Prize Foundation for the Cure of Alzheimer's, Inc. (this was the name we incorporated under. We later evolved to the Alzheimer's Prize Foundation for the Cure, Inc. and what today is the Alzheimer's CURE Foundation, Inc.). I can’t go it alone and I need someone with your expertise. What do you say, Jim?” He was caught off guard but ecstatic. “I’m tired of the for profit world. I always wanted to be a part of something big that would make a difference in the lives of many people." Jim, was a co-founder of the organization.
That was the beginning of the Alzheimer's CURE Foundation, Inc. Within a few days the basic groundwork was laid out, we incorporated as a non-profit organization and filed with the Secretary of State in Rhode Island. We are a public, non-profit organization and in order to become successful and fulfill our mission, we need everyone's financial support.
In every sense of the word, this foundation is a true labor of love and, for me, my Dad is and always will be the driving force behind it. So is my Mom, who has Parkinson’s. A cure for Alzheimer’s will open the door wide towards a cure for Parkinson’s disease as well as many other neurodegenerative diseases and neurological disorders.