Hope to Make a Difference

Matthews Family

“Hope can bring you together with others, and lead you to make a difference. Hope can help you find ways to honor those you love.” – Liz Matthews, AFTD volunteer

Liz Matthews is driven by hope and resolve, shaped by her experience as a child of someone who lived with FTD. Growing up in a quiet town in New Jersey, Liz had a happy childhood, enriched by her dad’s infectious energy and sense of humor.

A decade ago, Liz’s dad, David Matthews, began behaving erratically; on occasion he displayed uncharacteristic aggression toward his loved ones and friends. In 2014, when Liz was ten and her dad was 50, David was diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD. He passed away in 2016.

“It was such a stressful and chaotic time for all of us,” said Liz. “I remember feeling very confused, and that life was so unfair.”

Today, Liz remembers her dad for his joyful personality and all he accomplished before his FTD diagnosis. An avid runner and accomplished piano player, David earned his private pilot’s license after putting himself through dental school. “My dad believed you could do anything—giving up was never an option, and I try every day to live up to the way he approached life.”

Her dad’s determination and positive spirit inspire Liz to do all she can to raise FTD awareness as an AFTD volunteer. By participating in Charity Miles and AFTD’s With Love campaign, Liz also hopes to raise funds to help drive AFTD’s mission. Intent on helping others on this journey, Liz plans to study neuroscience when she starts college this fall, and hopes to advance future therapies and a cure for this disease.

“Hope is more than an emotion – it is an experience that we can manifest into making a change,” she said. “It’s wonderful to have joined with an organization like AFTD that’s committed to this community and the research necessary to end FTD.”

Will you join Liz in supporting AFTD’s mission? Together, we can turn hope into action and transform the journey for all who face FTD. By making a tax-deductible gift of any amount, you can advance AFTD’s work to improve the quality of life of people living with FTD and drive research to a cure.

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