Photography by: Brenda Piña
Two brothers from Texas with deep connections and loss because of Alzheimer's disease have been battling to end Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia since 2017. The goal is to educate and raise awareness in the community about the effects of dementia. With multiple events held in the San Antonio and South Texas area, they use their brotherly banter to shed light on a dark disease, hoping to end it for future generations.
Matthew Skinner is a co-founder of Beard vs. Beans which was established in 2017. He currently holds a chair on the Alzheimer's Association volunteer board.
While in high school, Matthew and his father cared for a neighbor, Mr.Leonard, who was battling Alzheimer's. He saw the effects of this terrible disease firsthand while caring for Mr. Leonard before it affected his own Grandmother. After watching his Grandmother battle with Alzheimer's for over 20 years, he wanted to raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease to help find a cure. That's when he and his brother Miguel Martinez created Beard vs. Beans.
What started with a brotherly banter competition about beans and a beard turned into a quirky way to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease over 5 years ago. Together they have raised over $100,000 dollars.
"We’ve seen what Alzheimer’s did to our family and we want to help find a cure and resources for other families.”-Matthew Skinner.
Miguel Martinez is the "Beans" and co-founded half of Beard vs Beans. He is an Air Force veteran and father of 3 who enjoys serving his community. In his spare time, he not only volunteers his time to raise awareness and fundraising for The Alzheimer's Association but is also part of Team RWB (Red White and Blue) helping to Enrich Veteran's Lives. Miguel has lost 3 grandparents to Alzheimer's disease and has seen how this disease not only affects the patient but also the family/caretakers. After his first Beard vs Beans win in August 2017, he took his love of running and decided to create The Longest Day 5k to raise money for The Longest Day campaign for The Alzheimer's Association. That started as an idea to raise money with just a few runners and has grown into 350+ runners in just a few years. Beard vs Beans now hosts 2 runs annually, The Longest Day 5k/10k and Run to Remember. Since 2017, Beard vs Beans has raised over $100,000 and an unmeasurable amount of awareness of this disease.
"While Beard vs Beans was started with a brotherly shenanigan, I believe my brother and I were put on this path for a reason and will continue on it." -Miguel Martinez