By Max Wallack
Puzzles to Remember
As a person that had never been a sports enthusiast, I find myself a proud fan of the New England Patriots. I congratulate the Patriots for their skillful win in yesterday’s Superbowl, but the New England Patriots and their owner Robert Kraft had become heroes to me, regardless of yesterday’s outcome.
The Patriots organization takes philanthropy very seriously. Each year, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards place a spotlight on those who give their time to help others and exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism. Last year, my nonprofit organization, PuzzlesToRemember, was a recipient of this honor, accompanied by a $25,000 grant to continue my work providing support to those with Alzheimer’s.
Since June, 2014, as a result of this donation from the Kraft Family and the New England Patriots, I have been able to supply an additional 11,000 puzzles to over 1,000 nursing facilities around the world. These puzzles have ranged from 500+ piece puzzles sent to assisted living facilities to the 36 piece Springbok PuzzlesToRemember, puzzles made specifically to benefit those with Alzheimer’s Disease. Roughly 20,000 residents in nursing facilities have had access to beneficial puzzles as a direct result of the grant from the Patriots!
In addition, I have donated hundreds of copies of my book, “Why Did Grandma Put Her Underwear in the Refrigerator? An Explanation of Alzheimer’s Disease for Children” for children who need to understand this disease in their family members and also need to grasp some helpful coping mechanisms.
But the benefits of my Myra Kraft Community MVP Award do not end there. I have also been able to donate to multiple Alzheimer’s research efforts, including the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, the Molecular Psychiatry in Aging Lab at Boston University School of Medicine, the MA/NH Alzheimer’s Association, the Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Prevention Organization, the Mclean Hospital Alzheimer’s Disease Research, and USAgainstAlzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s Disease is affecting almost 6 million people in our country alone, and that does not even include the millions of caregivers that are changing their own lives to care for loved ones. Every bit of comfort to these patients and their caregivers and every bit of support for research to find a cure for this horrific disease is truly heroic act.
The New England Patriots are heroes on the field, but they are even greater heroes off the field.
Max Wallack is a student at Boston University and a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine. His great grandmother, Gertrude, suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Max is the founder of PUZZLES TO REMEMBER. PTR is a project that provides puzzles to nursing homes and veterans institutions that care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.