Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC (Feb. 19, 2024) — Today, the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) recognized Orange County resident Jeannie Weiss for her exceptional role in Alzheimer’s research. Jeannie Weiss received GAP’s 2023 National Citizen Scientist Champion Award®, which is given to individuals who act as a stimulus in bringing new, novel approaches to Alzheimer’s research and are advocates for trial participation in the community.

For more than 30 years, Jeannie and her husband, Jeff, have been members of the Orange County Mustang Club (OCMC) and have participated in toy drives for children, hosted charity brunches in their home, and have raised thousands of dollars for prostate cancer research. Jeannie’s Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis did not stop her from keeping up with her love of Mustangs, and the OCMC supported her through this new journey. She now recruits volunteers for clinical trials everywhere, encouraging others who live with Alzheimer’s to take advantage of research opportunities.

Jeannie discusses why she decided to volunteer, “After I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I felt cheated, but then thought, ‘well I’m going to do something about it.’ If I can help somebody else, I think that’s the most important thing. They need to know if things are going to work to help them, or us, or me.”

In California, it is estimated that more than 690,000 people are currently living with Alzheimer’s Disease, and experts predict that will increase to almost 840,000 people by 2025[1]. The only way to find treatments and cures for this disease is through clinical trials, which is why volunteers, like Jeannie, are invaluable in helping to find the cure.

“Volunteering for a clinical trial is an act of profound generosity. By selflessly participating in a study, Jeannie is contributing to the advancement of medical science and potentially improving the lives of countless others, said GAP President John Dwyer. “Her willingness to step forward and participate in a trial demonstrates a deep sense of compassion, altruism, and dedication to the betterment of humanity. We are grateful for people like Jeannie.”

“It is great that Jeannie was awarded the Champion Award because she is an unstoppable force. She exudes a positive attitude with everything that she does. Having Alzheimer’s is quite difficult, and anyone could feel devastated about it, but she is really a fighter, and she wants to make a difference, being an advocate for change,” said Nicole Bo, Clinical Research Coordinator at the Syrentis Clinical Research.

Jeannie’s husband, Jeff, discusses their experience with clinical trials and why they choose to participate, “I feel that Syrentis really cares about you, and when someone cares about you that’s a lot right there by itself. The commitment has been there from day one. We are doing this to help her and in turn if it ends up being help for other people, that is great. If it will help my grandkids, and others, that’s cool. “

Jeannie has participated in Alzheimer’s disease trials and was nominated by Syrentis Clinical Research, a GAP-Net research site. GAP-Net is a network of academic and private research sites dedicated to advancing clinical research for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. Through this network, GAP supports more than 100 research sites in North America and Europe, providing resources, best practices, and strategies to help bring more diversity and innovation to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s clinical research.

Each year, GAP-Net sites nominate outstanding Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s clinical trial volunteers from their sites as citizen scientists to recognize the invaluable contributions that volunteers make to research. The honorees represent the wide body of clinical research being done nationwide, and they reflect the different places of the journey people living with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases may be in.

Jeannie said she has benefitted from joining clinical research because it gives her hope, and she feels that she is seeing a positive impact in her health based on the study she participated in with Syrentis.

“Never once have I ever changed my mind about being in a clinical trial. Everyone there is rooting for you, and everything being done benefits you,” Jeannie said. “It’s really important for the generations behind me to know that research is out there. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Once you get to the research center, they’re there to help you and you’re there to help them.”

For more information about the Citizen Scientist Awards® and to see the other honorees, visit https://globalalzplatform.org/citizen-scientist-awards.

To learn about nearby clinical research studies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, visit https://globalalzplatform.org/home/.



By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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