Bravo Column: Orange County resident awarded for advancing Alzheimer’s research

Costa Mesa resident Jeannie Weiss is driving Alzheimer’s research forward and is receiving a national award for her exemplary volunteerism to help advance science.

The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP) recognized Weiss for her exceptional role in Alzheimer’s research. Weiss received GAP’s 2023 National Citizen Scientist Champion Award, which is given to individuals who act as a stimulus in bringing new, novel approaches to Alzheimer’s research and are advocates for trial participation in the community.

For more than 30 years, Weiss and her husband, Jeff, have been members of the Orange County Mustang Club (OCMC) and have participated in toy drives, hosted charity brunches in their home and have raised thousands of dollars for prostate cancer research.

Jeannie Weiss’ Alzheimer’s diagnosis did not stop her from keeping up with her love of Mustangs, and the OCMC supported her through this new journey. She now recruits volunteers for clinical trials everywhere, encouraging others who live with Alzheimer’s to take advantage of research opportunities.

“After I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, I felt cheated, but then thought, ‘Well, I’m going to do something about it,’” she said. “If I can help somebody else, I think that’s the most important thing. They need to know if things are going to work to help them, or us, or me.”

More than 690,000 people in California are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s, and experts predict the number will increase to almost 840,000 people by 2025. The only way to find treatments and cures for the disease is through clinical trials, which is why volunteers, like Weiss, are invaluable in helping to find the cure.

“Volunteering for a clinical trial is an act of profound generosity. By selflessly participating in a study, Jeannie is contributing to the advancement of medical science and potentially improving the lives of countless others,” said GAP President John Dwyer. “Her willingness to step forward and participate in a trial demonstrates a deep sense of compassion, altruism and dedication to the betterment of humanity. We are grateful for people like Jeannie.”

Weiss said she has benefited from joining clinical research because it gives her hope, and she feels that she is seeing a positive impact in her health based on the study she participated in.

“Never once have I ever changed my mind about being in a clinical trial. Everyone there is rooting for you, and everything being done benefits you,” she said. “It’s really important for the generations behind me to know that research is out there. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Once you get to the research center, they’re there to help you and you’re there to help them.”

To learn about nearby clinical research studies for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, visit

– Submitted by Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation

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