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Dear Dr. Ignatius A. Piazza:

It is with heart-felt gratitude that I acknowledge your generous gift to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research Foundation. For federal tax purposes, no goods or services exchanged for this gift; your entire donation is tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

As it stands now, Alzheimer’s disease has no cure, nor are there any known means of prevention. It is a slow killer that robs its victims of their memory and identity. Its onslaught on the brain impairs intelligence and steals the ability to reason. It makes a mockery of aging, turning the last decade of life into a downward spiral pf physical and mental disintegration. Most of all, it puts incalculable emotional, physical, and financial burdens on the family and loved ones of the victims. Sadly, it is estimated that this killer will affect 14 million Americans in the next three decades.

There is unanimity in the desire to rid the world of this scourge. About eight years ago, the United States Senate Committee for Appropriations (for the Department of Labor, Health, Human Services and Education) asked the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to draw up the Fisher Center Foundation to finance three separate symposia of the world’s leading Alzheimer’s scientist in the fields of cause, care and cure. This led to the roadmap the Senate has asked for.

The resulting innovation was a facility created in partnership with the late Zachary Fisher and David Rockefeller entitled the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research. The Center occupies an entire floor of the research building, a skyscraper on the Rockefeller University campus.

Dr. Paul Greengard, the center’s leading scientist, received the 2000 Nobel Prize in Medicine adding his name to a list of twenty of the University’s scientists who have previously been awarded that honor. Eleven of its faculty members have won the National Medal of Science. Nearly half of its professors have been elected to the National Academy of Science. Overall, the new facility is the largest, and best equipped laboratory dedicated to Alzheimer’s research in the world.

In opening the first Fisher Center Conference for Alzheimer’s Disease, former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “I am moved, as I know all of you are, by the commitment Mr. Fisher and Mr. Rockefeller are making today. And I know that you share my confidence that with them committed to this effort, it will bear results. What we have with this extraordinary collaboration is an example of what we need throughout our society; the ability of the government and private citizens to work together to bring to the table the best scientific minds in our country to attack the most troubling disease that affect us.”

You are part of the partnership that Mrs. Clinton talked about. I want you to know that as part of that partnership, the government has already given a grant of $10 million directly to our laboratories at Rockefeller University, permitting us to increase the number of scientists working on our three goals of Cause, Care and Cure. As well, through an additional government grant - and not your dollars earmarked for research - we have constructed a web site that enhances and highlights the strides being made in research. Visitors to the site will be able to retrieve articles on Dr. Greengard’s work and to check on the latest information on clinical trials or to participate in an on-line chat. There is also a “geo-search” feature which enables visitors to the site to find resources for helping their neighborhoods merely by entering their Zip Codes or town names. Your support of our research scientist is wholeheartedly appreciated; fully 94% of the money we bring in goes directly to research, with only 6% being spent for staffing and administrative costs.

Your compassionate support will help us conquer the devastation that is Alzheimer’s disease. Again, you have my deepest sympathy and all of our hearts at the Fisher Center are with you.

With all good wishes,

Mary Asta
Vice President


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