By Kate Daly/Special to The Almanac
Part the Cloud founder Mikey Hoag of Atherton is "thrilled" and "energized" to announce a new partnership with philanthropist Bill Gates to help fight Alzheimer's disease. Gates, she said, is personally going to donate $10 million to Part the Cloud after the organization raises $20 million by the end of April.
"The potential is so significant," Hoag said. "With Bill's partnership we really have the ability to turn this disease around."
Hoag's father had Alzheimer's, and her mother currently suffers from it; Gates' father and uncle both have the disease.
"It's something Bill is worried about; that's his vulnerability," Hoag said.
She had tried to connect with Gates for a couple of years when finally she received an email from him acknowledging how "compelling" Part the Cloud's work is, she said.
Alternating between galas and luncheons every other year, the organization has raised more than $30 million for the Alzheimer's Association, funding 39 research grants since 2013. Much of the focus has been on supporting early clinical trials of drug development, which in turn has enabled grant recipients to procure additional funding from other sources.
Hoag described Part the Cloud's three new research targets: how brain cells use energy and fuel, how brain cells remove waste and debris to avoid protein clumping, and how the brain's blood supply is maintained.
She and Gates haven't met in person yet, but Hoag is hoping to get the Microsoft co-founder to attend the next Part the Cloud event, a gala to be held in Woodside on April 25.
In the meantime, she plans to continue to work tirelessly to get people to donate to the cause and eventually find a cure. Go to alz.org/partthecloud for more information.