Matt on the money

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By EMILY BAKER

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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d434722

Prof Ralph Martins with Matthew Litwin.

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