Marv Welstead to be Honored with UNMC Community Service to Research Award

FREMONT – UNMC will honor Fremont resident and self-taught expert on Alzheimer’s Disease Marv Welstead with their Community Service to Research Award.

Welstead, 97, is a retired banker from Fremont who is known for his dedicated service to helping those impacted by Alzheimer’s and to furthering research in order to find a cure. It’s for that dedication that UNMC is honoring him at their Distinguished Scientists award ceremony tomorrow.

Welstead says his journey with researching Alzheimer’s Disease and creating support groups really began in 2001, when his wife Jean developed the disease.

“My wife had it eight years. At that time there were no support groups in Fremont, and really no place to get knowledge. So I started going to the library, getting books, and reading about it,” explained Welstead. “Then as I visited the nursing home each day I would record what was happening at night. Things like her blood pressure, when she had comas, and when she couldn’t eat. And Dr. Anderson really talked me into sending it to Alzheimer’s Disease research after I visited with him.”

After Jean’s death Welstead was one of three people who organized the Fremont Area Alzheimer’s Collaboration. There are now two support groups in the Fremont area, numerous events to help raise money to support those impacted or for research, and a Fremont Area Alzheimer’s Fund which uses 60% of the money raised to support research and 40% to support programs targeted at caregiver education.

Welstead was nominated by Dr. Daniel Murman, who he has been working with for five years. Dr. Murman stated that Welstead has been tremendously supportive of the research for Alzheimer’s at UNMC.

Welstead says he’s honored to receive the award.

“It’s quite an honor as far as I’m concerned,” said Welstead. “It’s based on the fact that our local Fremont Area Alzheimer’s group as given them about $132,000 now for grants. And secondly, I have worked closely with Dr. Murman, the Alzheimer’s specialist at UNMC, and studied the various programs for research.”

Welstead says they have numerous research projects going on with UNMC in regards to the disease. One of the new projects involves the use of magnetic MRIs.

“They are now using magnetic MRIs. And we can trace the Alzheimer’s plaque in the brain by a series of MRIs,” explained Welstead. “We’re now trying to determine how we can, through magnetic impulses and medicine, track that plaque and stop it from moving through the brain.”

Marv Welstead will be honored with the Community Service to Research Award tomorrow at 4 p.m. during the Distinguished Scientists awards ceremony.