Feb 28, 2012

Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research Introduced on Texas Senate Floor

Legendary Texas Football Coach Darrell Royal and wife Edith positions DKR Fund as a ‘Texas game-changer’ in Alzheimer's disease care and research. Celebrities and business leaders lend their voice and support to cause.

Alzheimer's Reading Room

Left to Right: Lance Armstrong, Mrs. Edith Royal,
Coach Darrell Royal, Matthew McConaughey
(Photo: Business Wire)
Edith Royal described how difficult it is to care for someone in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's disease. Royal said that while Texas ranks third in the nation for the disease, most of the research takes place on the east and west coasts.

Edith Royal, Darrell Royal's wife, described the fund to a Texas legislative committee hearing Tuesday.

Royal, who suffers from Alzheimer's, also appeared at the hearing along with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and actor Matthew McConaughey.

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The Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research was launched today at an Interim Joint Committee hearing on Alzheimer's Disease (AD) in the Texas Senate Chamber.

The DKR Fund is named after legendary Texas football coach Darrell Royal and was created to facilitate research and care for Texans to attempt to cure AD in our lifetimes. The announcement was made as part of testimony given by Royal’s wife, Edith Royal. Joining her on the Senate floor was Coach Royal and their long-time friends and supporters, actor Matthew McConaughey and 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

“Texas ranks third in the nation for number of citizens diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The sad fact is that most everyone in our state is touched by this disease and the Darrell Royal family is no exception,” says Edith Royal. “The DKR Fund represents a commitment to excellence in Alzheimer’s research and care for Texans, the nation and the world. I am grateful for the opportunity to create this legacy for my husband, and for the incredible group of prominent Texans who want to join us in this endeavor.”

As part of her testimony, Mrs. Royal emphasized need for a vehicle that funds collaborative research in Texas, and promotes sharing of discoveries and treatment strategies nationwide.

According to the National Alzheimer's Association, Texas ranks third in the nation for number of citizens diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. There are currently 340,000 Texans living with the disease and by 2025, that number is expected to increase more than 38 percent. Despite the high number of Texans affected by AD, the vast majority of funding for research is directed toward the east and west coasts.* The DKR Fund will enable Texas to be the “game-changer” in advancing the global fight against AD and related dementias.

Mrs. Royal also brought to the Committee’s attention the harsh physical, mental, and financial challenges that come with being a caregiver to someone with AD.
“We are fortunate to have a team standing with us as we take this journey, but so many families and caregivers do not,” said Mrs. Royal. “Every day caregivers are burning out, stressing out; suffering very serious physical side effects of this challenge and do not know where to turn. It is painful to think of these people – both the person with the disease and the caregiver – experiencing the fear of the future, loss of hope, and the feeling of complete and total abandonment at this stage of their lives. It is for those people that I speak today.”
The DKR Fund’s Board of Advisors consists of leaders in business, entertainment, sports and government, all of whom have affection for Darrell Royal and a desire to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.

The DKR Fund Board of Advisors are as follows: Greg Abbott, Beau Armstrong, Lance Armstrong, Mack Brown, Ben Crenshaw, Lisa Dawson, Eloise DeJoria, Frank Denius, Melissa Edwards, Larry Gatlin, Angie Harmon, Rita Hortestine, Alfred Jackson, Joe Jamail, David Kazen, Ava Late, Red McCombs, Matthew McConaughey, Jim Bob Moffett, Laurée Moffett, Kit Moncrief, Mike Myers, Willie Nelson, Mack Rankin, Corby Robertson.

About the DKR Fund
The Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research represents a commitment to excellence in Research and Care for Texans to attempt to cure Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in our lifetimes, to expand research into Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and to expand the paradigms of care and access for Texans thereby enabling exposure to preventative and treatment strategies aimed at combating the epidemic of AD. www.dkrfund.org

for The Darrell K Royal Fund for Alzheimer’s Research
Elizabeth Peichel, 214-336-8344

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