We are endlessly grateful to our volunteers for giving their time to better the lives of those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our volunteers are truly the heart of the Alzheimer’s Association here in North Carolina.
In honor of National Volunteer Week 2021, we’ll be spotlighting a different volunteer from our Chapter each day. Today we are featuring…
What brought you to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association?
My great-grandfather passed away with Alzheimer’s and my great-grandmother is currently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s living in a Korean nursing home. Before the pandemic, I played the clarinet for the local seniors in assistance and memory care units and nursing homes in the greater Charlotte area in addition to the HOSA nursing home visits with my peers. My father’s research focuses on making human brain-on-a-chips to study Alzheimer’s and other neurovascular diseases, so Alzheimer’s has been a part of my story and I wanted to amplify the importance of supporting the aims of the Alzheimer’s Association and Alzheimer’s Impact Movement especially during these tough circumstances.
What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?
I enjoyed attending informative sessions such as the 2021 Federal Alzheimer’s Priorities Training and researching the legislative priorities. These proposals highlight the results of a year’s advocacy while bringing in new factors with the changing circumstances enhances my grasp of the situation and gives me confidence that our hard work has brought change with these shifting priorities.
What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?
The ability to share my story with representatives is my greatest strength as an ACT member. My memories of watching my great-grandmother as my relatives followed their routines as caregivers, despite the mentally and physically challenging patterns, continue to guide me to respect caregivers and recognize legislation that assists those who have fearlessly tended the patients, our families. Observing my father’s research progress after his endless hours applying for research grants and funding, I speak out to increase investment in Alzheimer’s research because these advancements will bring forth another passionate researcher into the field and their potential to develop preventives and effective treatments.
If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?
Your story, with or without a connection to Alzheimer’s, is your most treasured belonging, and your urge to volunteer with the Association reflects your tender heart. All it takes is one call to a senator’s office or a letter to a representative for your altruism to become alive and “unmuted.” You can’t mold your own story but you control its voice, so turn up its volume because those courageous moments when you implement will inspire another heart to follow your steps.