Sherry Sharp, Wife of CarMax Founder, Richard Sharp, Accepts Seat on Board of Cure Alzheimer’s Fund

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Innovative Research Organization Mirrors Family’s Vision

Sherry Sharp

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating to individuals, families, and the Country as a whole; it must be stopped, and I expect to be spending considerable personal time in supporting the mission of CureAlzheimer’s to do just that.

During his lifetime Richard L. Sharp was a pioneering businessman who understood the need to surround himself with great people and take risks to achieve success. A visionary, CEO and entrepreneur, his friends often marveled at his extraordinarily courageous attitude when taking on challenges. That’s how he lived his life and -- even with his death impending—that’s how he continued looking for a cure for the Alzheimer’s disease that would ultimately take his life.

Carrying on Sharp’s relentless dream of finding answers to Alzheimer’s, his wife, Sherry Sharp, today announced that she has agreed to serve on Cure Alzheimer’s Fund organization’s Board of Directors. In her husband’s honor she is going to do everything she can to further their mission “to fund research with the highest probability of preventing, slowing, or reversing Alzheimer’s disease through venture-based philanthropy.”

Richard L. Sharp, the founder of the car dealership chain CarMax, former CEO of Circuit City electronics, chairman of the board of CROCS shoes and founder of V-Ten Capital Partners, passed away this June at age 67 from posterior cortical atrophy, a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease. He was diagnosed in October 2010 with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. His father, grandfather, and uncle succumbed to late onset Alzheimer’s disease (onset after age 65).

“During Richard’s long illness, we were looking for the best way to make a difference in defeating this deadly disease,” said Mrs. Sharp, Richard’s high school sweetheart and wife of 45 years. “When I was introduced to two of the founders of CureAlzheimer’s,” said Mrs. Sharp, “I can still remember how excited I was to share their information with Richard because venture-based philanthropy, their approach, would be exactly how he would want us to invest our efforts.”

“CureAlzheimer’s venture capital approach to medical research works by finding the visionaries in the field, supporting them, focusing on the essentials by establishing a frugal culture and daring the researchers to be great,” said Mrs. Sharp. “That was the same way my husband ran his businesses.”

CureAlzheimer’s is attaining a reputation as being the leading research organization on Alzheimer’s. Its Research Consortium is led by Dr. Rudy Tanzi of Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General in Boston, the visionary behind the “Genes to Therapies” (G2T) Alzheimer’s research roadmap. He leads a stellar, collaborative, line-up of scientists across the Country at over 59 well-known research laboratories.

In the past 10 years, CureAlzheimer’s has contributed more than $27,400,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for several key breakthroughs—including a potential treatment recently selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its elite “Blueprint” drug discovery program. CureAlzheimer’s research funding also resulted in the ground-breaking “Alzheimer's in a Dish” study, which promises to greatly accelerate drug testing, an approach that the New York Times cited as a “giant step forward.” The directors also cover all administrative over-head so that 100% of each third-party donation goes straight to funding the research that is so vital to this mission.

“Alzheimer’s disease is devastating to individuals, families, and the Country as a whole; it must be stopped, and I expect to be spending considerable personal time in supporting the mission of CureAlzheimer’s to do just that,” says Sherry.

Sherry and her husband shared a desire to improve lives in a variety of ways, including education, children’s services, and medical research. In addition, Sherry has devoted time to Christian Ministry and more recently has focused on writing, including publishing Chicken Soup for the Soul, Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Edition. Her story, Life Interrupted, was inspired by her experience as caregiver to her husband after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Mrs. Sharp lives in Richmond, Virginia. She especially enjoys spending time with her family.

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Scott Treibitz

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