The has announced a $20 million gift from David Geffen in support of efforts to improve the quality of life for people affected by frontotemporal degeneration (FTD).
The commitment from the will create the David Geffen Fund at AFTD and provide support over the next ten years to sustain and deepen AFTD's work to end FTD, the most prevalent cause of dementia for people under the age of 60. Geffen made the gift in honor of his friend and fellow art collector S.I. ("Si") Newhouse, owner of The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, and other magazines, who died October 1 and whose is a major funder of AFTD. According to the association, FTD tends to strike adults in their forties and fifties, when they are still working and may be raising a family, and affects personality, behavior, language, and/or movement.
"I am proud to partner with the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation in supporting the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration," said Geffen. "This fund will enable AFTD to continue to lead the way in expanding our understanding and treatment of this horrible neurodegenerative condition.”
"AFTD is a very effective organization with three missions: to fund research, to support the afflicted and their caregivers, and to increase awareness of frontotemporal degeneration among professionals and the public. David's partnership with the Samuel I Newhouse Foundation will greatly increase AFTD's ability to carry out its missions," said Newhouse’s brother, Donald. "He is a great friend who reacted so thoughtfully to my wife and my brother having suffered from primary progressive aphasia, a variant of FTD."