Friends, neighbors and fans of Sandy Halperin gathered in the Westminster Oaks Maguire Center today (4/5/16). They were celebrating a remarkable man who is using his own battle with Alzheimer’s to raise awareness across the country.
Halperin, a former Tallahassee dentist, is now in the middle stages of the disease, but that hasn’t dimmed his determination to make a difference in the lives of others who have the illness.
“We need enhanced and measurable care initiatives, cure initiatives, programs and research,” he told the gathering, which numbered in the hundreds.
Those thoughts were echoed by Halperin’s friend and self-described “brother”, Tallahassee City Commissioner Gil Ziffer.
“For every $100 spent on research, there’s $16,000 spent on care. Not saying people shouldn’t be cared for, but I think we got the number backwards,” Ziffer remarked.
Other speakers at Tuesday’s recognition included his daughter Karen Cyphers and Florida Secretary of Elder Affairs Sam Verghese. Halperin’s personal struggle and advocacy was the subject of a CNN special and he recently won the William Proxmire Award for his fight against dementia.