Join AARP today. Get instant access to discounts, programs, services and the information you need to benefit every area of your life.
by David Dudley, AARP The Magazine, January/February 2005 issue
Inspire Awards 2005 Honorees
Princess Yasmin Aga Khan
For years, Princess Yasmin Aga Khan had known that something was desperately wrong with her mother, actress Rita Hayworth. In 1981, doctors gave a name—Alzheimer's—to the Hollywood legend's memory loss and sudden rages, but they couldn't help her daughter slow the disease's steady progression.
"At first I felt a sense of relief—here was a medical explanation," Khan says. "But now what?" Khan, whose father was the wealthy Prince Aly Khan, abandoned a singing career to become her mother's sole caretaker in the final years of her illness. She also threw herself into the search for a cure, joining the nascent Alzheimer's Association, lobbying Congress for increased federal funding, and, in 1984, holding the first Rita Hayworth fundraising gala. In 2004, her two annual fundraisers in New York and Chicago generated $3 million in donations.
"I always have hope, and we are making progress," says Khan, who is now honorary vice-chairman of the Alzheimer's Association in the U.S. and president of the UK-based umbrella organization Alzheimer's Disease International. "I don't know if a cure will be found in my lifetime, but I will be involved for my life. It's my mission."
*The name of this award was originally the Impact Award. In 2008, the awards were renamed as the Inspire Awards.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Learn about isolation and how you can make a difference
Rate bonus on high-yield online savings account
This tool helps you identify your pills by color, shape and markings.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at