MANHASSET, NY – Starting intently at an album of family photos, Richard Purdy, MD, smiled happily and said, “Yes, I do remember that. It was a great time.”
Dr. Purdy and his wife of 50 years, Gloria Purdy, participated today in an event at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Dr. Purdy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007; the couple has traveled from their home in Connecticut to the Feinstein for years so Dr. Purdy can be treated by Peter Davies, PhD, Director, Litwin-Zucker Research Center for the Study of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dr. Davies today acknowledged the courageous attitude exhibited by the Purdys, who are passionate advocates for clinical trial participation as well as the need for increased funding for research.
“Make no mistake, research is the only way to get this done,” said Dr. Davies. “With increased funding, we may be able to find a cure for this disease one day. Without such funding, a cure will be that much more difficult to provide.”
Also on hand was Assemblyman Charles Lavine, 13th AD, who filed a resolution earlier this year seeking voter approval on a referendum to bond $1 billion for Alzheimer’s research. Noting that Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States -- affecting more than 5 million Americans – Assemblyman Lavine said, “We must not side idly by while our loved ones and our neighbors are suffering. In this case, the word neighbors is a term of morality and not a question of geography.” He concluded by voicing confidence that New Yorkers will support this referendum, and that “if we do this and set an example, other states will follow.”
Mrs. Purdy began her remarks by stating, “You are not born with courage. You have to participate in something to find your voice and the strength to look forward. “She said that back in 2007, she noticed that “the business of our lives” was not running smoothly. She consulted with a close friend and colleague of Dr. Purdy, who had at one time been a pioneer in the field of vascular surgery. Their journey into Alzheimer’s research brought them to the Feinstein, where Dr. Purdy has already participated in two clinical trials.
“Before the clinical trials, and before we began to speak out, we felt like victims,” Mrs. Purdy said. “The medical field provided us with a wonderful life, and now it’s our time to give back. This experience has been very empowering for us.”
Dr. Purdy agreed. “We’ve had a great life, “he said.
To see a video about this story, go here.