The Compass Spring 2023


Changing Minds …

Sandra and Gary Fernandes put their minds and hearts into making a difference for those living with Alzheimer ’ s and other memory disorders .
ary Fernandes likes to joke that he and his wife Sandra live two existences , their “ city life ” and their “ country life .” Half of their week is spent at their home in Dallas , seeing friends and meeting colleagues , and the other half finds them on their property in Fannin County , boots on , breathing in the sweet fragrance of their land near Honey Grove .
They also split their time between being a grateful patient family and impassioned donors bent on making a difference for others .
Gary knew that Alzheimer ’ s and dementia was a serious issue for families , but when his beloved wife Sandra received a diagnosis of Alzheimer ’ s , he said it was as if life had “ somehow changed completely .”
AT & T Memory Center research medical director Claudia Padilla , MD
“ At that point , you ’ re shocked with the reality of such a diagnosis , and particularly with a subject about which there ’ s so little information . It ’ s one of those things no one wants to talk about ,” he lamented . “ How many people have you met who say , ‘ My loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer ’ s ?’ No … there ’ s stigma associated with this diagnosis .”
All the Questions
Gary , a retired executive for EDS and founder of Convergent Partners , noticed signs that something was not quite right for his wife , and immediately called friends who recommended Sandra receive testing at Baylor Scott & White Neuroscience Center ’ s AT & T Memory Center , an outpatient program that evaluates patients for memory disorders and provides comprehensive care to the patient and their family .
Alzheimer ’ s disease , Sandra ’ s diagnosis , is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , in 2020 , as
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Inside this issue
2 From the President
8 From the Chair
Focus On : Leadership
8 Sarah Cantu : New VP of Donor Engagement and Experience
Dr . Michael Sills


News , Projects & Campaigns
2 Planned Giving
3 Caring for the Spirit
6 40th Anniversary Gift of Life Gala Announcement
7 Texas Immuno-Oncology Biorepository Research