A study in love


Long-time couple participates in important Alzheimer’s clinical trial as partners


Phyllis and Ron Longtin have traveled the world during their 55-year marriage, but one of their most meaningful experiences together is taking place near their home in Arizona. For nearly three years, Phyllis has been a volunteer participant in a clinical trial at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute that aims to help prevent the disease. Ron is her study partner and joins her for every visit to provide support and spend time with the love of his life.

The Chandler couple are especially passionate about fighting the disease since they’ve seen firsthand the impact it has on families. Phyllis’s older sister was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 64 and died two years ago. “By taking part in research, it makes us feel like we’re contributing something,” says Phyllis, 77. “It has definitely been fulfilling, and I couldn’t ask for a better study partner.” She and Ron, 78, also see volunteerism as a way to make life better for their two children and six grandchildren, along with more than 6 million Americans of all ages who have the disease.

The couple met in a unique way years ago. Fate intervened, as they each had a sister in the convent who felt moved to introduce them. That led to a wonderful marriage filled with adventure and travel. Ron was in the U.S. Marine Corps for 22 years, and they lived in Okinawa for three years. They’ve traveled to Europe, Ireland, and across the U.S. They plan to continue taking part in clinical trials.

“If you can do anything in any way to prevent Alzheimer’s in the future, it’s worth it,” Phyllis says. “It’s no effort at all to be contributing like this.”

Learn more about clinical trials at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute here.

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