Matt on the money
WATCHING his grandfather suffer with Alzheimer’s has encouraged Matthew Litwin to make a difference.
The 13-year-old raised more than $2350 for the Nedlands-based McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation by organising a special screening of the movie StillAlice at the Cygnet Theatre last month.
The All Saints College student said it was too late to help his grandfather but he hoped to some day prevent other families from going through the same hardship.
“I felt very emotional; when I first heard about it I didn’t understand what Alzheimer’s was because I was very young,” Matthew said.
“But when I started to understand what it was going to do to him, I really wanted to keep going to see him and enjoy my last moments with him, because now he doesn’t remember anyone really.”
Foundation Professor Ralph Martins said more people like Matthew were needed to help raise awareness about the disease.
“We are talking about 200,000plus people with Alzheimer’s and that is going to triple in the next few years,” Prof Martins said.
“We really need to engage the younger generation and communities – most people think those who get Alzheimer’s are in their 70s and 60s. We now know through the research that it’s actually starting in the 40s and 30s.” Matthew wants to make the fundraiser an annual event.
Prof Ralph Martins with Matthew Litwin.