Grateful husband makes legacy gift to Banner Alzheimer’s Institute
Alzheimer’s disease may have the power to erase precious memories. But it cannot undo the love and devotion that grows with 56 years of marriage.
David Wilshin and his wife, Barbara, prove that despite Alzheimer’s, love still remains. To honor the woman to whom he pledged his eternal love, David in March made a legacy gift in Barbara’s name to Banner Alzheimer’s Institute.
The Wilshins first became involved with Banner Health nearly five years ago when Barbara was enrolled in a clinical trial at BAI to evaluate the potential benefits of the drug Dimebon. About a year and a half into the trial, the study was canceled when Pfizer, Inc., the drug’s manufacturer, determined it did not meet its primary research targets.
Though the trial didn’t produce the results for which David and the couple’s two daughters had hoped, it introduced them to a new standard of care and an unparalleled network of support.
“We continued taking Barbara to BAI after the trial ended, but it eventually became too difficult to bring her here from our home in New York,” explains David. “She now lives there with a full-time caregiver. I spend about seven months of the year at our home here in Arizona and the rest of my time with Barbara in New York.”
A Strong Advocate
David’s appreciation for the researchers, physicians and care professionals at BAI compelled him to accept an invitation to join the Banner Alzheimer’s Foundation board of directors in 2012.
“Being on the board has been such an enlightening experience that has given me the opportunity to meet people who are exceptionally dedicated to the cause,” he says. “With two daughters and five grandchildren, I am very concerned about losing another generation to Alzheimer’s, and that’s certainly a focus at Banner.”
Beyond David’s involvement with the board, his family also supports the institute, advocating on behalf of its groundbreaking research and care programs.
“My daughters and sons-in-law live in New York, and they recently hosted a cocktail party to introduce Banner to their friends and colleagues,” David noted. “They are passionate about sharing the goals of BAI, and I know they intend to continue spreading the word about this great institution.”
Barbara Wilshin Welcome Center
To commemorate David’s bequest, a dedication ceremony was held at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute on March 2, Barbara’s 80th birthday. Surrounded by family, friends and the dedicated care team at BAI, David proudly unveiled the newly named Barbara Wilshin Welcome Center.
“I miss my wife,” he said simply. “She couldn’t be there with us to celebrate her birthday, but I wanted to mark the occasion in a way that would leave a lasting memory and honor her legacy as an amazing wife, mother and grandmother.”