Despite the death of her mother on Tuesday, September 6, after an eight-year battle with Alzheimer’s, Triumph Over Alzheimer’s Founder Leslie Ann Crozier was not slowing down her battle against the disease. If anything, Leslie was even more focused on supporting research and treatments for the debilitating disease. On Wednesday, November 2, she gathered friends and supporters at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas for an update on progress made with UT Southwestern Drs. Ihad Hajjar, Marc Diamond and Brendan Kelley plus the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute inaugural Director/UT Southwestern Medical Center Professor Dr. William Dauer. As a show of support, it was announced that the Carlisle Group was gifting $250,000 to Leslie’s brainchild. Here’s a report from the field:
The fourth Triumph Over Alzheimer’s forum was planned to primarily be a discussion of “Helping Prevent Cognitive Decline and Breakthroughs on the Horizon,” yet it turned out to be a heartwarming message of hope.
Founder Leslie Ann Crozier, a champion swimmer at Stanford, asked a fellow swimmer Joan Schriger-Patten, to co-chair the event which took place just a few months after Leslie Ann’s mother died after an eight-year battle with Alzheimer’s.
Natalie Woods, who worked with Leslie on the “Home on Homes” local television gig, opened the discussion with a clever tribute to Leslie Ann and then said there were so many dignitaries and scientists in attendance “that half the room could be on the iconic brainiac game show ‘Jeopardy’” which set an upbeat tone for the ensuing Q&A with UT Southwestern panelists Dr. Ihad Hajjar, Dr. Marc Diamond and Dr. Brendan Kelley.
WFAA meteorologist Pete Delkus introduced Leslie after recounting his family’s 17-year experience with a beloved family member who suffered from Alzheimer’s.
Leslie said, “We can go to the local pharmacy for our allergy blood pressure medicine, but we can’t get medicine to treat Alzheimer’s and that is why we are here tonight.”
Dr. William Dauer, Professor and Director of the Peter O’Donnell, Jr. Brain Institute served as moderator. He referenced that UT Southwestern in the midst of the $1 billion capital campaign and will make the medical school “the preeminent research organization in the area of cognitive decline.”
The panelists provided some common-sense advice for preventing or lessening the effects of Alzheimer’s:
- Avoid or limit alcohol consumption
- Adhere to the “Mediterranean diet” of healthy eating
- Exercise regularly, even it if only walking
- Regulate blood pressure and manage hypertension