The organization I chose for January 2012 is a no-brainer. My Granddad was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2005 and has slowly been losing the battle to the disease. Our family has watched as his mental state has slowly deteriorated over the past few years to a point where his mental state and ability to function became dangerous to himself and my Granny. I made a gift to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in an effort to help fund research to find a cure for this horrible disease. It is such an ugly disease that steals the memories and identities of too many people. I chose to donate to OMRF because I wanted my money to go directly to research. For the basis of most of my charitable donations this year, I'll use the CharityNavigator.org website to filter through potential recipients. When I did a search for Alzheimer's research, the OMRF received one of the top ratings in the US and ultimately received my money due to location and rating on the site. After working through the OMRF website, I realized that they have made several promising advances in their research. In an effort to be brief, here is an excerpt from their site:
OMRF is at the center of this struggle, and its scientists are battling Alzheimer’s on multiple fronts. Led by Dr. Jordan Tang, a team of OMRF researchers identified and cloned the enzyme believed to cause the disease, then created an inhibitor to halt the enzyme’s action. Today, an experimental drug based on those discoveries is progressing through human clinical trials. If those trials prove successful, the new drug, known as CTS-2116, could offer the first effective treatment for Alzheimer’s.
OMRF researchers also have achieved promising results from a pre-clinical study of a potential Alzheimer’s vaccine. And they have uncovered a molecular mechanism that provides important clues why certain people are at higher risk for developing the disease.
Results like these are what make my gift meaningful to me. I want to fund research to help other families who have loved ones that may be at risk for Alzheimer's. I want to fund research to help fight the disease in my own family if the genetic predisposition to developing this disease has been passed on to others. I never want to have to go through this again with someone else in my family. Hopefully a cure will be found soon.
If you have any interest in donating to the OMRF, here is a link to their website and a link to their rating on CharityNavigator.org's site: