Ruth Davis, 68, grew up in a close-knit family in Arkansas, sharing all of her life's milestones with her sisters, Peggy and Mary, who were just a few years older. From childhood to adulthood to motherhood, they remained close and inseparable friends. Among the things they ultimately would come to share was the family burden of Alzheimer's disease.
It wasn't until they were adults and their father fell ill that the sisters realized that he had become the sole caretaker of their mother, who was falling victim to dementia. Only when he was hospitalized, the severity of their mother's disability became evident, and a visit to the doctor confirmed that their mother was in the advanced stage of Alzheimer's. Just eight months after her diagnosis, she died from the disease at age 69.
But now Ruth is heartbroken, watching helplessly as her beloved sisters, who started showing signs of the disease in their late 50s, slowly slip away. It is incomprehensible for Ruth to accept that her best friends and confidants no longer know who she is and are barely able to communicate.
Ruth joined the Alzheimer's Prevention Registry because of her fear for future generations and she prays that her daughter and grandchildren won't experience the same fate as her mother and sisters. While science couldn't save her mother and cannot save her sisters, she is hoping that she will live long enough to see science save others.