Ever since I was little, I have always been very interested in science. As I grew up, that interest in science transformed into a passion for the brain. One day, I watched a documentary about Alzheimer’s Disease, and I was fascinated. I began searching the web, reading literature articles, and watching videos about the disease. After learning about the devastation this disease is capable of, I wanted to help in any way I could. I decided to join a research lab at my school, which investigates the immunological component of Alzheimer’s Disease. I also began volunteering at a local dementia care center. As time progressed, these experiences validated my passion for finding a cure and ultimately inspired me to pursue medical school to become a neurologist where I will be able to research the disease and help treat those affected by it.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not work in the research lab or volunteer at the dementia care center. So, I started looking for different ways to make a difference. I had heard about the Alzheimer’s Association and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which led me to do research. I contacted Gina Henrickson, the manager of The Longest Day (one of the Association’s largest fundraising events), and the rest is history. I was graciously welcomed into the Association and decided to join the volunteer recruitment committee.
After I got to know the other committee members, I realized most of them had someone in their family who has been affected by the disease. Although I have never experienced Alzheimer’s disease within my own family, I still felt a personal connection with their stories. It is truly inspiring to be surrounded by others that share my passion for helping those affected with dementia.
Now I call on you! If you are passionate about the disease and want to make a difference, this is the opportunity you have been waiting for! Feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about the resources the Association offers, opportunities for volunteerism, info about The Longest Day fundraiser, or anything else!
By: Rachel Frakes