Laura Napolitano has spent her whole life helping others. Not only friends and family, but she even chose to use her medical training to become a top HIV/AIDS researcher. She has always been there for whoever needed her help. Now she needs ours.
Two years ago, Laura was having difficulty completing basic tasks at home and at work. The diagnosis was devastating. At age 51, Laura was told she had Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease.
Whether you know Laura from her childhood in Tom’s River, Williams College (‘85), or during her medical career at Rochester, Mass General, Harvard, NIH, or UCSF, you will remember her as vivacious, energetic, hard-working, and as loyal a friend as one could ever hope to have. Her brain was a steel trap -- she never forgot a name or a birthday, and could recite Casey Kasem's American Top 40 from every year of her childhood (she had enough brain cells to do that!). When she wasn't working, Laura was a loving mom/wife/daughter/sister, an athlete, and loved playing practical jokes on her family and friends.
The disease has progressed quickly. Laura now struggles to perform basic functions without assistance and requires 24-hour supervision. Laura’s wife, Ingrid, is stretched to the limit working full time while raising 9-year-old Christopher and taking care of Laura’s needs. Laura was the primary breadwinner and they need financial assistance to provide Laura with the care and treatment she will need for many years to come.
Laura is young and active and needs very different types of activity and stimulation than older Alzheimer’s patients, so the costs go well beyond the $75,000+ per year that a daytime caregiver will cost. And for Ingrid, these costs will be on top of what she will need to raise their son.
So let’s all help Laura and ease the burden on Ingrid and Christopher. It’s what Laura would have done for us.