Making the Fight Against Alzheimer’s Disease A Focal Point

December 4, 2018 ART/PHOTOGRAPHY

 

By

Gina Martin

 

 

Visual Storytelling Grant to Promote Awareness of the Global Epidemic for 3rd Year in a Row

 

 

The Bob & Diane Fund, a grant-making organization dedicated to promoting awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia-related diseases, is awarding $5,000 to Worcester, MA photographer Stephen DiRado for his decades long work, With Dad.

 

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than five million Americans, killing more people than Breast and Prostate Cancers combined. In Mr. DiRado’s home state of Massachusetts, 130,000 people over the age of 65 are living with Alzheimer’s while 337,000 family caregivers are bearing the burden of the disease. On average, Alzheimer’s caregivers in Massachusetts provide 384 million hours of unpaid care. [source: alz.org]

 

 

Hampton Beach, NH, August 17, 1989 – Stephen DiRado

 

 

Today’s announcement attempts to bring awareness, interest, and support for funding research efforts by awarding a photographer whose work tells the stories of patients with dignity and respect.

 

 

Gene’s 1st Stroke, UMASS Medical Hospital, Worcester, MA, May 19, 1998 – Stephen DiRado

 

 

The Bob & Diane Fund, which launched in June 2016, is the passion project of Gina Martin, whose mother, Diane, succumbed to Alzheimer’s after a five-year battle. Diane’s high school sweetheart and husband for almost 50 years, Bob, was her primary caregiver and died just 3 months later. Their legacy of generosity and compassion for others was what inspired Gina to create the Fund in their names.

 

 

Stranger in the Mirror, Marlborough, MA, November 2, 2003 – Stephen DiRado

 

 

“The visual stories of patients and caregivers can humanize what is, in fact, a very cruel and dehumanizing disease,” says Gina. “My hope is that the work funded today and in the future will have a profound and lasting effect on people, persuading them to support and advocate for a cure.”

 

 

November 13, 2005 – Stephen DiRado

 

 

Stephen’s work, With Dad was also presented in the Washington Post and featured on www.bobanddianefund.org.

 

With 58 submissions from 18 countries the contest was judged by a jury of esteemed photojournalism professionals, all of who expressed unanimous high praise for the awardee’s work.

 

 

March 13, 2009 – Stephen DiRado

 

 

“Stephen’s story is like a slow drip of time, where we can see both aging and time pass. He has a consistent visual voice and style,“ says Sarah Leen, Director of Photography, National Geographic Magazine.

 

 

February 23, 2008 – Stephen DiRado

 

 

The work brings softness, dignity, respect and tenderness to people living with Alzheimer’s.  Stephen is very conscious of the string that ties all the images together,” says Chip Somodevilla, Senior Photographer, Getty Images News.

 

 

April 10, 2005 – Stephen DiRado

 

 

Keith Jenkins, Director of Digital Content, NPR, “[I] like how the photographer brings us along on the journey and that we see life, not just an illness”.

 

 

 

 

The vision of the Bob & Diane Fund is of a world where Alzheimer’s disease is cured and millions of people are spared the cruel and painful experience of losing a loved on to this awful disease.

 

For more information on the Bob & Diane Fund visit www.bobanddianefund.org.

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1 Comment

  1. Gwendolyn Freed December 04, at 19:01

    I have my grandfather’s Diaries that in “minimum discription” records his years of coping during his wife’s sinking life from what we believe now as Alzheimer’s. I was a witness to some of her episodes while a teenager and took time (300 miles away) to visit her and help in her care. The diaries cover from 1959 To November 1962 when she died. I am trying to request her med records from her last mental health facility in Virginia to confirm diagnosis. Would his Diary entries be of any interest to you or to those in research arena? Thank you for your wonderful and informative written articles about your Dad and Alzheimer’s.

    Reply

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