In 2014, Jess and Bob Rice of Needham, Massachusetts, founded Jog Your Memory 5K Inc. (JYM), an accredited 501(c)(3) charity supporting an annual USA Track and Field-certified 5K run and 1.5-mile walk to fund research to help eradicate Alzheimer’s disease. Jess’s mother, Carol Caley, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2007, and the Caley and Rice families were inspired by the strength Carol showed battling the disease. Carol’s husband and dedicated caregiver was the impetus for adding a caregiver grant arm to the board’s fundraising efforts, reserving 20% of JYM’s proceeds for supporting caregivers in their 24-hour-a-day shifts, and further dedicating 80% of the nonprofit’s donations to CureAlz. For many years, Alzheimer’s disease research was completely stifled by a lack of funding. Jess and Bob were amazed by the cutting-edge research that was being executed by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund and the efforts that the Wellesley, Massachusetts-based organization privately endowed.
“CureAlz has helped change the path of our understanding of the disease and gives us more and more hope for better treatment and prevention. Jog Your Memory and its supporters fully back their efforts. With the collective power of its Board of Directors, every year the organization strives to do better and raise more awareness, and continues to back research and help caregivers and their loved ones along the way.”
My name is Jess Rice, and Alzheimer’s has sort of been the background music in my life since I was an undergrad at Williams College. My grandmother and great-aunt suffered from undiagnosed dementia in their later years—upon entering college, I gravitated toward neuroscience to learn about the mechanics of the brain, and during my studies, was awarded a fellowship at a memory disorders clinic to work on the Seven-Minute Screen for Alzheimer’s. Little did I know that less than 10 years after I graduated, my own mother Carol would be diagnosed with the same disease that I learned about in school. Upset and feeling helpless with my mom’s life-altering situation, my husband Bob came up with the idea to start our own nonprofit to support Alzheimer’s research. During our inception year in 2014, we fundraised for the Alzheimer’s Association, having not yet created our own nonprofit, and before being introduced to CureAlz.
The following year, a friend and future board member pulled up CureAlz’s website, and there was a picture of Rudy Tanzi—I immediately recalled being fatefully connected with Rudy the year my mom was diagnosed. Rudy had played recreational basketball with one of my husband’s clients, and I was fortunate enough to connect with him briefly over the phone to see whether there were any trials my mom might qualify for. I was immediately intrigued by the organization Rudy was connected to, and the rest is history.
Visit Jog Your Memory’s website