LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — One Lafayette family is doing all it can to make one disease a thing of the past, a memory.
Tyler Dubea said his mother, Karen, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s in 2011. She was 48 years old.
“This is one that just blew my mind. You know, she’d pick up a tube of toothpaste and the toothbrush, would be sitting right there and she wouldn’t be able to connect that,” said Dubea. “You know, you need your toothbrush and the toothpaste to brush your teeth.”
“That’s extremely young and I know for me personally, I went through a lot of doubting,” he said. “You kind of doubt the medical profession, like surely they missed something.”
He said Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and it’s the only disease in the Top 10 that doesn’t have a prevention, treatment or cure.
Dubea said his brother, Landon, and father, Lance, tried to schedule a golf outing to raise money. The event never happened because they could not get donations or sponsors. This was a learning experience for them.
“Even though people want to help you they also want tax breaks as well,” said Dubea.
“We knew that we could make a bigger impact on finding a cure, on taking care of other families that are in similar situations to ours, and this was the year that we decided to do it,” he continued.
On April 4, the KLD Foundation was created by the family in Lafayette as a nonprofit domestic corporation. It is named after Tyler’s mother, Karen Lee Dubea. They recently had their first event, A Night to Remember. More than 200 people came and $20,000 was raised.
“When it’s something that you care about, you’re always surprised when you get the support from the community,” said Dubea.
He said the Alzheimer’s Association projects are close to finding a cure.
“So that means sometime in our lifetime, somebody will be cured of this disease,” Dubea said. “And we’d rather make that sooner
rather than later.”
The foundation is the family’s tool to promote Alzheimer’s research.
“Each year the goal is to keep growing, and keep improving, and getting one step closer to finding a cure,” he said. “And we’re gonna do whatever we can to raise as much money as quickly as we can.”
The KLD Foundation made its first $10,000 donation Monday to Joyful Journey.