Memory Loss: Devastating Effects for Patients and Loved Ones
Dr. Frank Freed was a kind, gentle, and selfless man who dedicated his life to counseling and guiding others as a Clinical Psychologist and teacher at the Crystal Cathedral. Frank enjoyed nothing more than helping his community by giving of himself through service to others and through philanthropy. Everyone who knew him, loved him. His beloved status in the community only made his memory loss and deterioration all the more devastating.
When Frank started losing his memory, he lost the ability to teach, to counsel others, and to care for himself. When he lost his memory, he lost his identity. His family was robbed of the man they loved.
“We had been married for 27 years. We had 15 strong years together but his memory loss robbed me of my marriage. I felt as though it took away my play mate, my best friend, my lover. Watching other couples was hard. I would watch them dance and it saddened me because I remembered how much we loved to dance together. I miss my heart connection, and my partner. Watching someone you love go through memory loss is like going through stages of grief. Each painful stage is like experiencing a death over and over again”. – Evelyn Freed
Like Frank, millions of people suffer from memory loss as a result of many causes, including: traumatic brain injury, stroke, brain tumors, neurological disorders and epilepsy. We need to find ways to combat memory loss because in a profound way, our memories define our identities. Without them, we cease to be ourselves.
Promising Advances in Research
Decades of scientific research have brought a basic understanding of how the brain stores memories, but there is still more to accomplish before we can prevent and/or compensate for memory loss. There is tremendous optimism that we will discover ways to slow the process of memory loss with aging and reverse the pathological processes that destroy memory. Research on people with exceptional memory could lead to strategies to boost memories that are weakening. Research on the mechanisms of memory is leading to new restorative therapies that tap into the brain’s potential for “plasticity,” enabling improved recovery from traumatic brain injury and stroke.
How You Can Help
You can help advance the study of memory loss and train the next generation of leaders in the field by making a gift to support the Frank Freed Memory Fellowship.
The Frank Freed Memory Fellowship honors Frank’s memory by supporting a graduate student or postdoctoral fellow who is dedicating their career to research on memory. This Fellowship will support the trainees of today so they can make the scientific discoveries that will improve the lives of future generations. Our goal is to make memory loss and its devastating consequences a thing of the past. Please make a gift today.