Max_0111970This young man posted on the ALZ Assn Central Ohio Facebook page, and what he has accomplished in his mere 16 years of life is nothing short of incredible. It’s so heartwarming to see such passion in our youth!

Please use the link below to vote for Max – one vote per day, per person, permitted until Feb 5. And don’t forget to share the link! Let’s help Max “win” the $10,000 for ALZ research at Boston University School of Medicine! Thank you, Max, for the great work you’re doing AND for inspiring all of us to continue our fight!!!

Max Wallack

My name is Max Wallack. I am a Davidson Young Scholar and a 16 year old college sophomore who is dedicating his life to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. This disease has brought heartbreak to too many families. Currently,I am in the running for a $10,000 grant for my “cause”. If I receive these funds, they will be donated for Alzheimer’s research at Boston University School of Medicine. Everyone can vote once a day today through Feb 5. At no cost to you, you can help me provide funds for Alzheimer’s research. Vote for Max Wallack’s cause here: 

More on Max below, in his own words. Clearly an amazing and inspiring young man and a living example of a quote I used in a Caregivers post earlier this week:

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.  ~His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama

At a young age, I realized we are all connected, and that, by being observant of other’s needs, I could invent solutions that could make a difference; I came to the conclusion that anyone who has the ability to help another person has the responsibility to help.

I set about inventing products, everything from special steps for the elderly, to the Home Dome, a temporary shelter for victims of natural disasters and the homeless that won acclaim by Senator Landrieu of Louisiana. Simultaneously, I was a caregiver to my great-grandmother who had Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s is often accompanied by restless and even antagonistic behaviors, but, at one nursing facility, I noticed that patients working on jigsaw puzzles seemed calmer. In 2008, I founded PuzzlesToRemember, a 501c3 organization that has since supplied over 18,000 puzzles to over 1,600 Alzheimer’s facilities worldwide. I also work with individuals internationally who are forming branches of PuzzlesToRemember.

Early on, I recognized the scarcity of puzzles best suited for Alzheimer’s patients: those with large pieces, low piece counts, and bright, tranquil, memory-provoking images. Research shows that cognitive activities, such as puzzles, can significantly extend the time over which Alzheimer’s patients remain functional in society. Armed with this knowledge, I contacted Springbok Puzzles, and, together, we created a specialized line of puzzles to fill this void. I regularly receive notes of appreciation from caregivers, accompanied by smiling photos of their loved ones working puzzles.

I also have become the science editor for the, where I provide online support to Alzheimer’s caregivers globally. Since doing good for others can have a snowball effect, I make it a point of involving hundreds of students. I often encourage and guide others to initiate their own philanthropy projects. I challenge them to experience the euphoria that comes with knowing you have made a positive difference in the lives of others.

For several years, I have volunteered, 15-40 hours weekly, as a Research Intern in the Molecular Psychiatry and Aging Laboratory at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center. I work with transgenic mice, studying various enzymes and the effect of medications upon the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. My work will soon be presented at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s conference.

A college sophomore at age 16, I take a rigorous course load toward the goal of becoming a geriatric psychiatrist. In this country, and in many places around the world, our population is aging, and Alzheimer’s disease is an impending disaster. Just in the United States, there are 5.4 million people with this disease; 1,232 new cases are identified each day, a new patient every 68 seconds. Not only are these patients and their caregivers suffering, but the approaching Alzheimer’s tsunami will bankrupt our already hurting health care system.

My experiences with this disease have elucidated my lifelong path to tackle this disease on multiple fronts, encompassing compassionate care of those afflicted, support for weary caregivers, and research to find treatments and, perhaps, a cure. This is my calling in life.