Philadelphia – The American Brain Foundation recognized three people for their leadership of movements to defeat brain diseases afflicting 50 million Americans at an event held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology on May 8, 2019. Each award recipient has raised awareness, led an organization, and advocated successfully for better treatments, prevention, and cures for a brain disease. The awardees are:
Public Leadership in Neurology Award
We honor Ann Romney, former First Lady of Massachusetts, for her invaluable leadership in the fight to defeat multiple sclerosis and all neurologic diseases. Ms. Romney has generously shared her personal experience with MS with millions of people through her inspiring book In This Together and countless media appearances. She has spearheaded path-breaking MS research and helped establish the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, becoming an ambassador for the health of the whole brain.
Commitment to Cures Award
Jeffrey Lurie, accomplished movie producer and owner of the Philadelphia Eagles, knows autism up-close, having grown up with side-by-side with an autistic brother.
Through his personal philanthropy, Lurie has directed millions of dollars toward autism research. In addition, he created the Eagles Autism Challenge that includes a one day bike ride and family-friendly 5K run/walk featuring Philadelphia Eagles players, alumni, coaches, executives, cheerleaders and SWOOP. We are honored to present this award to Jeffrey Lurie.
American Brain Foundation Board Chair Award (posthumous)
Edgar J. Kenton III, MD, FAAN, FAHA
Dr. Edgar Kenton was not only a distinguished neurologist, he was also a member of our Board and a champion of philanthropy and of diversity in the neurology profession. He was a longtime supporter the Foundation’s research mission and a leadership donor. Dr. Kenton understood that diversity in the neurology profession would lead to better treatment, prevention and cures for all. He therefore gave generously to our Calhoun Fund, a permanently endowed fund for diversity research.
Cure One, Cure Many Award
Jerry Mendell, MD, FAAN
Dr. Mendell’s research has uncovered a one-time treatment for children with spinal muscular atrophy–a cure for what is otherwise a fatal disease. And he is building on this treatment to develop similar therapies for patients with Duchenne and limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. The American Brain Foundation honored Dr. Mendell with the Cure One, Cure Many Award for his breakthrough research and for devoting his career to curing neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Mendell’s patients are living proof that when we cure one disease, we will cure many.