Diana Healy’s Story

When Diana Healy heard her husband’s diagnosis, she was overcome with shock: ALS, often called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a devastating progressive neurodegenerative illness that has no cure.

She said she never felt so hopeless. 

“My immediate thought was: What do we do to fight this? Then I learned that there wasn’t much to do, there was not one medication available that could give us even a little bit of hope. That’s when I really became scared.”

“I was stunned to be in this situation again. This is not the first time in my life that I’ve had to deal with a loved one struggling with a disease of the brain or nervous system. In fact, I’ve had five family members afflicted with various illnesses, including two who suffered from depression and ultimately took their own life. My younger daughter is mentally handicapped and my older daughter’s husband is living with brain cancer. I knew I had to act.”

Knowledge: the key to hope. 

The months following the ALS diagnosis went quickly and Diana’s husband succumbed to his illness in less than a year. Once he passed, she was determined to find out as much as she could about current neuroscience research. In January 2013 she discovered the BRF and was profoundly impacted by our mission. Diana decided that BRF would be the best custodian for her philanthropy and made her first gift that month. She said she is committed to supporting the Foundation as long as she can. 

So many stand to benefit. 

“I find comfort and hope in the fact that even though it’s too late to help some of those I love, I may still help others. My donation, regardless of size, may actually be a part of a cure.” 

Why BRF? 

“In my opinion,” Diana said, “the Brain Research Foundation is the organization doing the most to support research. Their approach makes sense to me: supporting different research topics and scientists at different institutions who come at the problems from different angles. And the fact that 100% of my donation goes directly to scientific studies is something no other organization I researched was able to promise.”

We promise we’ll do everything possible to earn the confidence that Diana has placed in us.

Other Stories

The Vandermel Family’s Story
By supporting the BRF Julia, Justine, and Kelly are able to honor their father’s memory and also honor other family members and friends affected by neurological disorders, including Kelly’s mother.
Matt Rahn’s Story
True innovation doesn’t come from thinking linearly, innovation comes from very smart, passionate people thinking creatively. I tell my friends, ad nausea, that the BRF is going after innovative ideas.
The Anderson Family’s Story
The opportunity to shed light on more than one brain disorder played a large part in our choosing the BRF. Everybody knows somebody who can benefit from future discoveries.
Andrew Swigart
My Passion for the Foundation
I am grateful for the BRF for the opportunity to help support the advancement of research that will one day prevent other families from experiencing the trauma that affected mine.