By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember
In January 2010, I first learned of the AlzheimersReadingRoom.com. The editor of that site, Bob DeMarco, had written an article about my donation to the Alzheimer’s Research Institute at Boston University. I emailed Bob, and a friendship was born.
Emailing Bob was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is amazing how much we have in common considering that we have never met, we live 1500 miles apart, and there is 45 years difference in age. I suspect that our common bond is that we think alike.
Bob and I share knowing what life is like being a caregiver to an Alzheimer’s patient whom we love. We share a thirst for knowledge. We both have a need to help others and provide information to help others. We both live our lives trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
Bob DeMarco is one of the most intelligent people I have ever interacted with. I know that every word he says and every advice he offers needs my attention and contemplation. There is always some important life lesson waiting for me.
Bob DeMarco was a Wall Street tycoon, a company CEO, and a College Professor. He walked away from that life six years ago to take care of his mom who has Alzheimer’s. Not only is he the exemplar of caregiving, he spends hours each day on the Alzheimer’s Reading Room sharing his expertise of personal experience as well as what he has learned from reading over 6000 scholarly articles.
Often Bob tells me he can’t wait to see what I become in life. I couldn’t do any better than to live up to Bob’s expectations for me. I also know that Bob’s greatest contributions to society are yet to come. Someday, I will be a Geriatric Psychiatrist working with Alzheimer’s patients and perhaps doing research to find a cure for his horrific disease. Someday, Bob will be this country’s VOICE for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Perhaps, he already is.
Max Wallack is a student at Boston University Academy. His great grandmother, Gertrude Finkelstein, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER , a 501(c.)3 charitable organization. PUZZLES TO REMEMBER is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and other institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.