Michael Makar is a student at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
“When I was 13 years old, I found out my grandmother could not stay in New Jersey with me and my family. Ever since my grandfather had passed away she had been living on her own 30 minutes away from where I grew up. But my grandma’s worsening Alzheimer’s made living by herself impossible. She was forced to move down to Texas where my aunt and cousins would take care of her better than my always working parents could. It broke my heart to see her leave and after this, I didn’t hear much from her besides infrequent phone calls. While I know she had to focus on recovery, it still hurt going from seeing her several times every month to about one phone call a year. And I am devastated to say my grandmother passed away last weekend, surrounded by my aunt and uncle.
My family and I experienced first hand the toll Alzheimer’s can take on a person and their loved one. The disease robbed her presence from my life and made her last few remaining years a difficult battle. This is why I wanted to do something to raise awareness for all those suffering the same, and for her memory.
At NJIT, I am the vice president of the school’s chapter of Circle K International (CKI), a well-established community service organization with divisions across the world and age ranges from high school (Key Club) to older adults (Kiwanis).
With my club, I held a Livestream event on November 22 to raise money for the Cure Alzheimers Fund. It was 12 hours long with games, challenges, giveaways, and more. I wanted to make the livestream event as big and widespread as possible, not for myself but for those who could benefit from the proceeds.
When I thought of this idea back in July, I was hoping to maybe raise $500, and as we got closer to the event I was unsure of even reaching that. Instead, we raised that amount in the first 5 hours. We ended with raising a total of $1119, a number that still blows me away to say. That would not have been possible without your help, especially because knowing I had the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund itself backing me is what kept me working into late hours into the night to make sure everything was perfect. I cannot express how happy I am to give that money and effort to such an amazing cause, one that I believe would make my grandmother proud. I hope to hear more updates from you guys in the future.”