A conversation with: Bruce Friedman
Local attorney Bruce Friedman has achieved many accomplishments in his lengthy career. Not only has he been named one of “The Best Lawyers in America” by Naifeh & Smith, St. Louis Magazine has also voted him as one of “St. Louis Top Lawyers” since 2003. Professional accolades aside, on a personal level Friedman is a passionate advocate on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association. Uptown Lifestyle recently had the opportunity to learn more about his work with a charity that is close to his heart.
UT: What part of St. Louis do you and your family call home?
Friedman: I grew up in Olivette and went to Ladue High School- the all-important question! I attended Washington University and Saint Louis University School of Law. I currently live in University City. I have three sons, the eldest lives in California while the younger two are here in St. Louis.
UT: You have been practicing family law for over 30 years. What are some activities enjoy outside of work?
Friedman: I love to travel! I also enjoy working out, going to shows and dining at favorite local restaurants. Also spending time with my family and friends.
UT: In addition to your legal work, you are heavily involved with the Alzheimer’s Association; can you tell us about that?
Friedman: I became involved after my late wife was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 54. Two of our sons were quite young at the time, 16 and 21, but even younger when her symptoms first appeared. It was a sad, challenging time for our whole family. She passed away in 2015 at the age of 59.
During her illness I learned as much as I could about Alzheimer’s disease. I became involved with support groups, advocacy and fundraising. Unfortunately, there remains no clear cause of Alzheimer’s, much less an effective treatment or cure.
UT: Part of your work for the Alzheimer’s Association includes being a frequently requested speaker. In your opinion, what are the biggest hurdles facing this disease?
Friedman: I would say raising awareness and the stigma of a disease that is unpleasant to watch. In addition, acquiring necessary funding for research and to help families in need. Sadly, I believe we are years away from finding the cause, developing effective treatments and ultimately discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
UT: What needs do you see in the areas of fundraising and research for Alzheimer’s disease?
Friedman: While Congress has increased funding for research, more is needed. Alzheimer’s disease is among the top ten causes of death in our country, yet receives far less monetarily than the others. And unlike other causes of death, again: there is no viable treatment or cure. It is said to be the most costly disease in terms of health care, government spending and financial losses suffered by families.
UT: Thank you Bruce for sharing your story with us. In closing, what lessons did this life changing experience with Alzheimer’s disease leave with you?
Friedman: Through it all, I learned a few important things from the Alzheimer’s journey: Take things a day at a time, live in the moment, not the wreckage of your future, and remember, you didn’t cause it, you can’t control it and you can’t cure it. Take care of yourself and be patient with your loved ones.