Ernest Labbe, a "Swab Squad" volunteer for the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.What made you choose to volunteer with the Swab Squad?
My volunteerism is based on my dad teaching me that we should all work to leave this place a little better. It does not matter your situation, there is always something that can be done to make a positive difference. My involvement with Butler Hospital is to begin collecting information that may help my children, their children, and those that follow. My dad would consider that a good contribution for the future.

When you volunteer with the Memory and Aging Program at community events, you help people to complete a cheek swab to see if they’re eligible for research. What is your favorite part of doing that work?
Working as a member of the Swab Squad provides me the opportunity to be actively engaged with the professional staff and community, making a small contribution to eliminating Alzheimer’s disease. I would have to say that it is the feeling of making a contribution; that is my favorite part.

Other than volunteering, what is something you like to do in your spare time?
My family is number one, along with offshore sailing, almost any outside activity, home repair/remodeling, being a member of the Cumberland Emergency Response Team, assisting with the annual town festival (Cumberlandfest), any opportunity to give back to the community and develop new skills.

Memory and Aging Program icon

The Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital is a world-wide leader in the fight against Alzheimer's. We are dedicated to developing breakthrough treatments for Alzheimer's disease through cutting-edge research into early detection and treatment.

Our research and future breakthroughs depend on the participation of people with normal memory who may be at risk for dementia and those who are already experiencing memory loss, as well as the support of committed community partners, supporters and volunteers.

DIAN Clinical Trial Now Enrolling

A middle aged woman looking into the sun

DIAN is currently enrolling study participants who are biological adult children of a parent who carries a genetic mutation known to cause a rare, early onset form of Alzheimer’s disease.


What This Past President of Alzheimer’s Association RI Wants You to Know

Susan Saccoccia-Olson and her father, pictured just a couple of months before his passing in 2018. Saccoccia-Olson lost both her father and her mother to Alzheimer’s disease.

Susan Saccoccia-Olson of Cranston, RI knows a lot about Alzheimer’s. She lost both her parents to the disease after spending 15 years as caregiver to them while also raising her own daughter; years when her own well-being was the last thing on her list.