Widow organizes contributions to M.I.N.D. Institute in honor of her husband

Sally Reed © 2009 UC Regents
Sally Reed and her late husband, Fred, have a grandson with autism. "We're holding out a lot of hope for him," she said.

At the entrance to the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute is a six-foot-long, five-foot-tall wall of glass, etched with images of children with autism, the M.I.N.D. Institute mission and the names of those who have generously contributed to finding treatments or cures for neurodevelopmental disorders.

Fred Reed’s name is among them. Reed passed away at age 67 in May of 2007 after a battle with kidney cancer. At his death, Reed and his family decided that, in lieu of flowers or other memorials, they would request that gifts be made to the M.I.N.D. Institute in Fred’s honor.

Sally Reed, who lives in the family home in Carmel and her late husband have a grandson with autism. Six year old Cyrus lives with their daughter Liz Feycbakhsh, her husband Tino and sister Lilia, 8, in San Diego. Fred Reed’s friends and family rallied around the cause to make a significant contribution to the M.I.N.D. Institute in Fred’s honor.

“He was just one of those people who, when he made a friend, kept them forever,” Sally Reed recalled. “There was nothing more important to Fred than his friends. Even if he had made a friend 40 years ago, he would stay in touch,” she said.

One of those friends, David Higgins, a golfing buddy of Fred’s, introduced the Reeds to the M.I.N.D. Institute and suggested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be sent to the M.I.N.D. Institute.

Photo of donor wall © 2009 UC Regents
"Friends of Fred Reed" is listed among the donors recognized on the glass wall that graces the entryway of the M.I.N.D. Institute.

Sally remembered that those gifts poured in from around the country, including Texas, Tennessee, and throughout California, a testament to the steadfastness of Fred’s friendships and the family’s love of their grandson.

Sally Reed and her family visited the M.I.N.D. Institute over the winter holidays, to see and touch the line on the glass wall that says “Friends of Fred Reed,” and to see the place that gives hope to families of children with autism everywhere. “Fred was just a great friend,” Sally said.

“Our grandson Cyrus has added so much value to our lives. We know that there’s a great deal inside him and all of these kids,” Sally said of her grandson. “We’re holding out a lot of hope for him and for all of them — and for all the research.”

Individuals wishing to make gifts to the M.I.N.D. Institute should contact Terri Contenti at (916) 703-0289 or Kathy Lelevier at (916) 703-0263.