Gift Honors Parents

Gift Supports Cognitive Research at Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

“Forty years ago, they didn’t know as much about the heart,” says Ellen Boyer, a certified registered nurse-anesthetist from Laughlin, Nev. “Forty years from now, who knows what they will understand about brain disorders?”

Ms. Boyer speaks with hope in her voice. Her mother, Dora, was diagnosed with senile cognitive disorder in her 80s and passed away in January 2011 at the age of 91. As the disease progressed, she watched her mother change from a competent, tough businesswoman who worked alongside her father handling complex land leases on their farm property in Nebraska to a woman who got lost inside her own home, cried for no apparent reason and needed help with bathing and dressing.

Ms. Boyer, 62, decided to support the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health   with a gift in memory of both her mother and her father, Albert Boyer, through IRAs held in a charitable annuity trust. She is beginning to see her mother’s situation replicated across her own generation of baby boomers, who are facing similar challenges in larger numbers as they age.

“Being in medicine, I am very much aware of the impact of cognitive disorders,” she says. “I want some of my hard-earned dollars to go toward that research.”

Ms. Boyer also has decided to have a baseline neurological exam and cognitive study performed at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. “I want to know what the next 10 years will be like for me,” she says, noting that she’s always enjoyed adventure. She’s jumped from a ferry off Alcatraz Island for a nearly two-hour swim across the San Francisco Bay and climbed Machu Pichu in Peru. “I hope to retire in 2012, and I’ve got a lot of plans for my bucket list – rivers to swim, trails to climb. I want to plan.”

To make a gift supporting the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health or any area of Cleveland Clinic, visit our secure giving site or call Institutional Relations and Development at 216.444.1245 or toll-free at 800.223.2237, ext. 4125.

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