World-renowned illusionist Siegfried Fischbacher of the legendary magic duo Siegfried & Roy will be honored by Keep Memory Alive with the first Caregiver Award during the 21st Annual “Power of Love Gala” on April 27 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The Caregiver Award, which will be presented for the first time at the annual, star-studded fundraiser, pays tribute to individuals who have gone above and beyond to care for those who are unable to care for themselves.
After the October 2003 accident that left Roy Horn with physical limitations, Siegfried has provided around-the-clock care to his best friend, life companion, performing partner and co-founder of the show that entertained more than 25 million fans.
“While caring for Roy, Siegfried has displayed an extraordinary amount of love and dedication, experiencing firsthand the many challenges caregivers face in day-to-day activities. His role as a primary caregiver is a familiar one to loved ones of patients at The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
“Caregivers are a very important part of the work done at The Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Before there is a cure, there is a caregiver,” said Larry Ruvo, co-founder and chairman of Keep Memory Alive.
“Siegfried’s dedication to Roy has been remarkable for almost 15 years now and serves as a shining example of caregiving at its finest. I cannot think of a better first-year recipient.” Siegfried’s dedication to Roy has been an around-the-clock mission at their 100-acre Little Bavaria home near Las Vegas Municipal Golf Course.
Siegfried installed hip-high railings along the winding sidewalks of the gardens so that Roy had a firm-and-steady grip to lean on while exercising with a regular walk of the property. A new house outfitted at Little Bavaria was overseen by Siegfried so that Roy would find his physical limitations eased.
The two men, who have been partners now for nearly 60 years, use a giant chess board to assist with Roy’s long road to recovery. Roy described Siegfried as “a slave driver” to my colleague, Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes, when he undergoes intensive rehabilitation at Las Vegas Athletic Club. It is said in friendly terms, as Roy adds:
“My message to anyone like me is ‘keep moving, make progress, pull yourself together because you can do it.” Siegfried says that he also benefits from the strain of his caregiving: “He shows me how to live, he tells me how to live. He says, ‘Do not worry about what you don’t have; enjoy everything that you do have.’ ”
Recognition of a caregiver’s incredible gift of love and time led to the creation of the award, which will be become an annual tradition at “Power of Love Galas.” Larry added: “Becoming a caregiver is certainly a choice, but if you love, you care. If you are not a caregiver now, you may well be in the future if you do not have the financial funds to provide for one.”
In addition to honoring Siegfried, this year’s dazzling 21st Annual “Power of Love Gala” will celebrate philanthropist Ronald O. Perelman and Las Vegas tennis star Andre Agassi, while simultaneously raising funds and awareness for Keep Memory Alive, the fundraising arm for The Lou Ruvo Center.
The Lou Ruvo Center, 888 W. Bonneville Ave. at Symphony Park in Downtown Las Vegas, is a unique and exciting concept in medicine, a medical center dedicated to the pursuit of more effective treatments for brain diseases and to the provision of state-of-the-art care for patients affected by these diseases and their families.
Last year volunteers provided more than 63,000 unpaid hours of compassionate, welcoming support to patients and families.