Senator joins West Virginia Alzheimer's Association, Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute

Updated 4 years ago Provided by Press Release from Sen. Jay Rockefeller

CHARLESTON, W. VA. – Before a packed audience of members of the West Virginia Alzheimer’s Association, the Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute (BRNI), and several Alzheimer’s caregivers, Senator Jay Rockefeller accepted an award for his work and dedication to better understand the disease and help find a cure.

“In West Virginia, we have more than 30,000 affected by Alzheimer’s. We feel a special, sacred obligation to take care of our parents and loved ones because we know the scars of this disease all too well,” Rockefeller said in his prepared remarks.

In 2001, the West Virginia Alzheimer’s Association held its first awards luncheon which honored Rockefeller for his leadership and commitment in the fight against Alzheimer's. During that luncheon, the Association also announced the creation of the annual “Rockefeller Award” which has been given to West Virginians for the last decade in honor of their contributions to the fight against Alzheimer’s.

The fight to end Alzheimer’s is personal for Rockefeller – his mother, Blanchette Rockefeller, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease during the last decade of her life. Following Mrs. Rockefeller’s death, Senator Rockefeller and his sisters founded BRNI, which is a research institute, located in Morgantown, dedicated to advancing discoveries into how to diagnose, treat, and repair memory damage caused by disease and degeneration.

“The fight for a cure to Alzheimer’s is a personal fight. This dreadful disease left a terrible emptiness in my family,” Rockefeller added. “I see in so many West Virginians a personal understanding of the tragedy of Alzheimer’s. It’s what compels all of these passionate advocates here today to get involved, to give so selflessly and to allow the hope of one day finding a cure. And let there be no mistake: our single, overriding goal, is to end Alzheimer’s.”

“Throughout Senator Rockefeller’s nearly half-century of dedicated service to the people of West Virginia, he has been an exemplary ally in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease,” said Laurel Kirksey, Executive Director of the West Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “We are pleased to honor his legacy of leadership and highlight his commitment to the mission of the Alzheimer’s Association at our annual Thanks for the Memories Luncheon.”

Recently, Rockefeller became a cosponsor of the Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act, a bill that would improve early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and improve care management services for newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

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