Two Founders, One Mission: Empowering Women to #EndAlz
Caren Lettiere and Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, two dynamic founders who met as college freshmen at UCLA and then embarked on separate journeys, have reunited for a shared purpose: empowering women and combating Alzheimer's disease. Their impactful partnership, now entering its third year, melds their passion and expertise to create awareness and funding for women's brain research, with a focus on ending the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's on women.
United by Shared Values
Caren Lettiere, the visionary behind Democracy Clothing, established her groundbreaking lifestyle brand over a decade ago. Her mission was clear: to provide innovative fashion options, anchored in denim, for women of all shapes and sizes. Rooted in her background in political science and a desire to give back, Caren recognized the potential to extend her brand's commitment to women's well-being by supporting a greater cause.
Elizabeth Gelfand Stearns, shares a passion for women's empowerment, driven by a deeply personal connection to Alzheimer's disease. Elizabeth chairs The Judy Fund, a philanthropic organization she founded with her father 20 years ago to raise funds for women's brain research related to Alzheimer's. Having lost both her mother and grandmother to the disease, Elizabeth's dedication has been unwavering, enabling her to rally over 3000 donors nationwide and raise and grant $10 million dollars to the cause.
A Disproportionate Impact on Women
"Our goal is to change the trajectory of Alzheimer's disease by supporting research that leads to disease-modifying treatments. The disease has a disproportionate impact on women, but we do not yet understand why. That is what drives us to build a pipeline for women's brain research," explains Elizabeth.
Caren was also compelled to act because Alzheimer's affects not only the individuals suffering from it but also their caregivers, who are often women. "More than two-thirds of all caregivers for those living with Alzheimer's are also women. This intergenerational burden on women is something I knew we wanted to address."
Now More Than Ever, Awareness Matters
We are currently in a transformational era in the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. We are working on better ways to detect Alzheimer's disease in the brain, along with FDA-approved drugs that slow down the progression of the disease. These drugs, along with lifestyle education (eating, sleeping, and exercise modifications) have put us on the road to Alzheimer’s survivorship.
Our Action Plan: Get Involved
This year, there are many ways to get involved:
- WALK: The Democracy Team in Los Angeles is thrilled to join the Judy Fund Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Santa Monica, CA, on Sunday, October 22nd. You can sign up to walk with the team, begin fundraising whether you choose to walk or not, or simply make a donation.
- VISIT: If you live near Santa Monica, you can visit a first-of-its-kind Democracy Clothing Pop-up Shop on Montana Avenue the weekend of October 13th. There, you can register for the Walk, find your perfect-fit Democracy Clothing jeans, and pick up your Judy Fund t-shirt.
- SHOP: Throughout October, you can also support The Judy Fund by purchasing items from a special Judy Fund Collection. For each purchase, $5 will be donated to The Judy Fund. In November, $1 from every sale at democracyclothing.com will also go to The Judy Fund. Learn more here.
- WIN: All who raise funds or donate by Giving Tuesday, November 28th, will be entered into a raffle to win a $500 site credit along with a personal styling session via Zoom with a Democracy Clothing stylist.
Let’s Make a Difference Together
We invite you to join us in making a significant impact in ending the devastating effects of Alzheimer's on women. Every step you take and every dollar you contribute advances the cause of empowering women and ultimately putting an end to Alzheimer's. Together, with Caren, Elizabeth, and the entire Democracy community, you can be a vital part of this powerful movement to #EndAlz.
Join Team Democracy Today
Visit The Judy Fund Website
Read about Caren and Elizabeth in this UCLA Magazine Article
Follow along with Elizabeth’s Jean Journey