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Glenn Close, Alma Powell, and Quincy Jones to Be Honored at AARP The Magazine's 2009 Inspire Awards
Date:11/24/2008

- Transportation Activist

Katherine Freund is the last person you'd expect to be an advocate for older drivers. In 1988 her son, Ryan, then three years old, was run over by a car. The driver, an octogenarian with dementia, didn't stop; he said later he thought he might have hit a dog. But after Ryan recovered, Freund turned to the mishap itself. "We do have to screen older drivers," she says. "But once you identify someone as impaired, they still need transportation." And so Freund established the Independent Transportation Network (www.itnamerica.org), a nonprofit that last year offered more than 30,000 rides to seniors in eight states. Unlike publicly funded transportation for older adults, which limits trips to doctors, churches, and grocery stores, ITNAmerica has no restrictions. "It's hard to make a case that the public should fund discretionary rides," Freund says. "But it's easy to make the case that quality of life depends upon them."

Peter Gallagher - Alzheimer's Activist

For 20 years before his mother's death in 2004 at age 89, actor Peter Gallagher witnessed her gradual descent into the oblivion that characterizes Alzheimer's disease. Gallagher, 53, a film and Broadway veteran who most recently starred on the hit TV series The O.C., immersed himself in the search for a cure. He serves on the National Advisory Council of the Alzheimer's Association (www.alz.org), organizes Los Angeles-chapter fundraisers, and participates in fundraising Memory Walks, all with the unshakable belief that treatments for this devastating disease will be found before too long. Until that happens, the actor won't give up. "It makes me feel less powerless," he says. "I do it for my mother. It's the best way I can think of to honor her."

David E. Hayes-Bautista, Ph.D. - Latino- Health Researcher
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SOURCE AARP
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