Carol Jenkins Barnett, a member of Publix Super Markets' founding family and president and chairman of its Publix Charities foundation, is stepping down from the Publix board of directors effective immediately due to health reasons, the company said Friday.
Her family said Barnett, 59, has been diagnosed with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease.
“Our Publix family is saddened by the news of Carol’s diagnosis with younger onset Alzheimer’s,” Publix chairman Ed Crenshaw said. “We thank Carol for her more than 33 years of dedicated service to our board and her numerous contributions to Publix and our communities. We fully support Carol’s decision to focus on her health and well-being and offer her and the family our prayers and support.”
Barnett is a daughter of Publix founder George W. Jenkins. Her husband Barney Barnett is the company's vice chairman. Publix said she was stepping down from her board post to focus on her health and spend quality time with her family. She will continue serving the community through her responsibilities on the board of Publix Charities.
“In sharing our journey, we hope to provide greater awareness and education of Alzheimer’s disease that affects more than 5.4 million Americans,” Barnett said. “We remain strong and hopeful that a cure will be on the horizon. We are grateful for the many thoughts and prayers. We know you will understand our request for privacy as there is much for our family to process and to learn about the challenges before us.”
Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and can last for many years; however, the disease is progressive, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease can strike persons in their 40s and 50s, and when it does, it is called “younger onset.” There are as many as 200,000 people with younger onset in the U.S.
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