Apr 23, 2010

Max Wallack a Davidson Young Scholar and "More"

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Max Wallack is the founder of Puzzles to Remember and he also writes for the Alzheimer's Reading Room.

I don't know how many of you know this, Max is only thirteen (13) years old. Remarkable.

Max's vision for Puzzles to Remember came about after he observed that patients suffering from Alzheimer's looked different when they were engaged in meaningful activity. He describes this difference with two words -- "more there."
Puzzles To Remember has distributed 3807 puzzles, to 166 Alzheimer’s caregiving facilities, in all 50 states and several Canadian provinces.

Max is also a Davidson Young Scholar. The Davidson Institute is dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students under 18 years old.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to let our readers know more about Max.

Please take the time to learn more about Max by reading the article below. You might be surprised to learn that Max already has several award winning inventions under his belt. In the Fall, Max is going to college at Boston University.

Maz is also a graduate of the Alzheimer's Front Row.

Max Wallack - A Davidson Young Scholar Making a Difference

I have been a Davidson Young Scholar since the age of 4. Nine years later, I still remember visiting Lake Tahoe, meeting other Davidson Young Scholars, and spending time with Jan and Bob Davidson. Most of all, I remember Jan Davidson’s words that set the course for my life: “I believe that if you have the ability to help another person, then you have the responsibility to help them.” I try to use that phrase as my mantra.

Max with the Home Dome

Since 2002, I have invented solutions to improve people’s lives. My first invention, the Great Granny Booster Step (a special step to help elderly and handicapped persons get into minivans and high SUVs), won a national invention competition, including a trip to Chicago.

While in Chicago, my family got lost on Lower Wacker Drive. There, I witnessed people living in garbage bags and boxes, and I promised myself that someday I would do something to improve the lives of homeless people.

Other inventions included the Walk and Wait Cane (a cane with an attached seat for persons to rest), and the Carpal Cushion (a special cushion (patent-pending) to be worn by people suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome).

In 2008, I heard about a contest that involved using recycled materials to better the lives of others. I decided to try to use Styrofoam, which occupies too much space in landfills, to improve the lives of homeless people. After much thought, I invented the Home Dome, a shelter for homeless people and disaster victims. The Home Dome won a national invention competition. I even had the opportunity to present it in Washington, D.C. to some Senators and Hurricane Katrina victims.

Since 2008, most of my time has been spent on Puzzles To Remember, a 501(c)(3) corporation I founded, which collects puzzles and distributes them to facilities that care for Alzheimer’s patients. I have collected 3475 puzzles and shipped them to 162 facilities across North America.

During school break, I shadowed a neurologist at a local VA hospital. This summer, I plan to work at an Alzheimer’s Research Center. My goal is to become a Geriatric Psychiatrist, working with Alzheimer’s patients.

Currently, I’m a sophomore at Boston University Academy, a high school on the Boston University campus.

This July, I will begin taking Boston University courses, and, in the fall, I’ll be taking three at the University. I really enjoy the feeling of independence and the additional perks of being on a college campus. I am very happy I made the choice to study here.

For many years, the Davidson Young Scholars program has been my lifeline. I have constant contact with my family consultant, Crissa Markow. She has always been there for me, applauding my successes, and guiding me through some very unfulfilling past school environments. Crissa is my sounding board. When I share my situations with Crissa, the answers become clearer to me, and my choices become more obvious.

I have also encountered other wonderful mentors along the way. Ms. Hinds, my former school principal, has always been willing to go the extra mile for me. She is very supportive of my projects. We also share some common values and a similar sense of humor. Even if we don’t see each other for a while, as soon as we are together, we are a team.

My most recent mentor is Bob DeMarco of AlzheimersReadingRoom.com. Bob and I met online only a few months ago, but we have already formed a very strong friendship. Bob is a brilliant man, a former Wall Streeter, a former college professor with his doctorate, and now a full-time caregiver to his 93-year-old mom with Alzheimer’s disease. I have great respect for Bob. He says we are both “difference makers.” I like that. I want to make a difference for the better in this world.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,300 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room