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Lydia Schoenfeld

Aware of the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease, Brigham Legacy Society member Lydia Schoenfeld named the Brigham as a beneficiary in her will to advance Alzheimer’s research.

Donor’s generosity fuels Alzheimer’s research now and in the future

Lydia Schoenfeld is intimately aware of the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. She cared for her mother, Ruth Davida Schoenfeld, who suffered from the neurodegenerative disease for several years before her death in 2015.

Her experience as a caregiver inspired a passion for supporting Alzheimer’s research. After the Florida resident learned about innovative work led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital neurologists Dennis J. Selkoe, MD, and Reisa A. Sperling, MD, MMSc, she made a generous commitment to the Brigham through her estate plans. To recognize her philanthropy, the Brigham welcomed her into The Brigham Legacy Society which honors and celebrates individuals who have included the hospital in their estate plans. Recently, she also generously gave $100,000 for Alzheimer’s research in memory of her mother.

“I made this gift because I realize funds are desperately needed today to speed up research that can benefit so many people,” Lydia says.

Part of her gift will fund Selkoe’s research to develop a diagnostic blood test for Alzheimer’s and part will be used for Sperling’s work on the Harvard Aging Brain Study, two closely related projects.

Lydia recalls a conversation she had with Selkoe about her mother’s care, which left a lasting impression.

“Dr. Selkoe was my lifeline,” she says. “He gave me hope and a virtual pat on the back, which is what I needed.”

Likewise, Selkoe is touched by Lydia’s generosity. He says, “Philanthropic support like Lydia’s makes such a difference in our work to treat Alzheimer’s disease and diagnose it earlier—and to provide hope.”