Why I give:
Jane Soper Kennedy and the Warren Y. Soper Charitable Trust
"My father established a trust before he passed away with the goal of supporting organizations involved in health and medical research. He was a successful, community-focused businessman and sportsman. My late brother was a pharmaceutical researcher and I had an extensive career as an occupational therapist in hospitals, long-term care and the community (Veterans Affairs Canada).
My first experience with Alzheimer’s disease was in my work. As my career progressed, I saw more and more patients with dementia, and I saw the devastating effect it had on entire families. When my aunt Anne, my father’s sister, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, it touched our family directly. We all admired her sharp mind and her love of learning, and it was difficult to watch her decline. I also lost a long-time friend to young onset dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is like a living death.
I am hopeful that a cure for Alzheimer’s disease will be found soon. In my work, I saw the benefits of Aricept [a drug used to treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease] in some of my patients in its early days. And over the past 15 to 20 years the stigma around this disease has been reduced due to education and improved community support for those living with the disease, as well as their caregivers.
I don’t think there’s a family in North America that has not been touched by Alzheimer’s. I am honoured and privileged to continue our family legacy of giving back by supporting the ongoing and important research to find preventative measures, effective treatments, and a cure for this disease. That is why we continue to support the Alzheimer Society of Canada."
Jane Soper Kennedy is a trustee of the Warren Y. Soper Charitable Trust, which has generously supported the Alzheimer Society Research Program since 2014.