Rising Stars Scholarship Recipients paid it forward at The Alzheimer’s Awareness Night at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. This event, took place on October 19, 2016 and is a pre-cursor to the Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic which is the brainchild of Gordon Thomas, an all-star basketball player at St. John’s University who was drafted by the New York Knicks. He created the event in memory of his late father, helping to fight Alzheimer’s and build awareness among up-and-coming student athletes.
Rising Stars volunteers assisted staff from the Alzheimer’s Association of Long Island as they educated the attendees about the illness. All the participants were given the opportunity to gain understanding by completing a virtual Alzheimer’s experience simulating the symptoms that patient’s experience.
It was a special night as Rising Stars kids learned the value of helping others.
Jonathan Piedra Essay
At the Alzheimer’s awareness event I was lucky enough to hear inspiring words of courage and knowledge from Coach Gordon Thomas. After I learned the struggle that Gordon Thomas’s father went through with Alzheimer’s, the coach’s words caught my attention. After taking the test that makes you experience the pain that people with Alzheimer’s deal with while completing simple tasks, I was astonished after struggling to set a table and find a shirt. I learned the battle that people with Alzheimer’s fight every day and I am truly grateful for participating in the Rising Stars charity event, providing a set-up where I learned to be appreciative and be more sensitive to older people fighting this disease.
AJ Piedra Essay
Before I walked into the Alzheimer’s awareness event, I was ignorant on how much harder life can be when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. One thing that really stood out to me was the image of the normal brain and a brain of someone who has Alzheimer’s. Parts of the brain start to dissolve, so when a person with Alzheimer’s can’t remember a name or task, that is the reason. Additionally, after putting on the special glasses, and special foot insoles, I felt a glimpse of how daily life is for an Alzheimer’s victim. I learned to be more patient and encouraging to them because life comes around harder for them. Knowing a little more about coach Gordon Thomas’s father, this event is well deserved in his remembrance. Being the first black detective in his town; he is a great role model for kids everywhere. I greatly appreciate participating for such an outstanding organization, and for yet exposing me to new things.