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Wigdale Family Establishes Innovation Fund for Memory Disorders in Memory of Libby and Jim Wigdale

The family of the late Libby and Jim Wigdale is making a philanthropic investment to advance innovative medical research and treat memory disorders – from Alzheimer's disease to dementia to mild cognitive impairment and more – at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW).

The Elizabeth T. and James B. Wigdale Innovation Fund for Memory Disorders will support the pioneering research efforts of Dr. Malgorzata Franczak, professor of neurology, and her team at Froedtert Hospital and the MCW Memory Disorders Program. It will also support technology improvements and efforts to build a robust neurodegenerative disorders databank.

Jim and Libby Wigdale

Libby and Jim were devoted to Milwaukee throughout their lives, serving the community in many capacities. MCW was extremely important to them. They were very supportive of the work being done at MCW and the benefits it provides to the community.

"Our family is thrilled to support Dr. Franczak’s groundbreaking work,” says Julie Kennedy, Libby and Jim’s daughter. “Our parents were big supporters and beneficiaries of the research and care that Dr. Franczak and others in the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program delivered at Froedtert Hospital. We are fortunate to have this fantastic team in our community.”

“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Wigdale family and their foundation,” Dr. Franczak says. “Memory disorders affect every family, and the research necessary to combat them is urgently needed. This gift will be vital to our efforts.”

The Memory Disorders Program at MCW focuses on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Its aim is to reduce the number of deaths from neurological diseases and to optimize health in aging adults. The program’s research seeks to improve the early detection of neurodegenerative disorders, identify risk factors and potential causes for dementia, and to discover new treatments and interventions for patients and families.