Jessica Lavorgna, age 11, from Tewksbury, NJ is raising money for Cure Alzheimer’s Fund for her 6th grade class project.
Each student was asked to develop a project that somehow changes or improves our world. While some of Jessica’s classmates wrote letters to soldiers in Iraq or volunteered time at a local hospital, Jessica chose to raise money in memory of her grandmother.
"For my project I chose to change the world by raising money for people who had Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease where you sort of live in the past; you have a great long-term memory but a bad short-term memory. You can’t remember your grandkids or friends you recently made at the golf course. I would know, my grandma didn’t remember my sister or me. It was sad to know all the times we spent together were washed out of her memory. My grandma died of Alzheimer’s. The last couple of months of her life were hard. Whenever I went to see her she wouldn’t remember me. I would be just another face walking around the hospital. That’s why I want to raise money for research on the cure of Alzheimer’s. There is a special fund that was created to help cure Alzheimer’s. The name of the fund is called Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. All the money that I raise will be donated to that fund and will be used to research the cure for Alzheimer’s.”
Jessica’s maternal grandmother, Olga, passed away in August of last year at age 82. “Jessica was very close to her grandmother so this project is dear to her heart,” says Jessica’s mother, Cathy Lavorgna. To raise money for her cause, Jessica sold flannel pajama bottoms and is donating her proceeds to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund.
Jessica chose Cure Alzheimer’s Fund because she liked the Research Roadmap and a plan to develop a cure. In addition to having first hand experience with the disease, she has concerns about the effect Alzheimer’s will have in the future:
“Alzheimer’s has already affected over 4 million elderly in the US. If no cure is found by 2040 over 14 million people will be affected. ... Alzheimer’s is a big problem in the US if we can’t cure it. That’s why the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund is so important.”
For the project, Jessica advertised her pants with flyers she hung around her town and school. She hoped to sell 100 pairs of pants and has already surpassed her goal by 100%. Her sales are over 220 netting a contribution of over $1200 to Cure Alzheimer’s and still growing.
When asked about the success of her project, Jessica and her mom both cite the importance of how one person can make a difference. Her mother summed it up, “one person can do one positive thing and it has a snowball effect and grows and grows, who knows how far it will go”.
If you are interested in supporting Jessica's fundraising effort for Cure Alzheimer's Fund and would like to purchase a pair of her plaid pajama bottoms (great for sleeping or lounging), please contact Katie Cutler by e-mail or at 1-877-CURE-ALZ (287-3259). They are available in adult medium and large.