“You don’t realize how ugly Alzheimer’s is until you do your research or are personally affected by it,” illuminated 23-year-old Alzheimer’s Association volunteer, Sarah Sabet. The Arlington Heights resident became involved with the organization in 2012 during her time at Elmhurst College.
“While I was a student, I became a member of Sigma Kappa, whose philanthropy is the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Sarah. “It wasn’t until I started to participate in the Alzheimer’s annual Walk that I wanted to become more involved.”
After her collegiate career, Sarah’s involvement with the organization only grew. In 2014, she joined the Chicago’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s® committee. In 2016, she became an AACR (Alzheimer’s Association Community Representative) along with becoming an office volunteer and a Without Warning support group assistant at Rush University Medical Center.
While Sabet has not been personally affected by the disease, she recognizes how prevalent it is and the devastating toll it takes on people and their families – which has deepened her passion for the cause.
“I think making people aware is key,” Sarah said. “You know, I feel like people don’t know much about the disease. For example: when someone says, ‘I have cancer,’ every one freaks out. But when someone reveals they have an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, people don’t know how to react. I think people don’t realize how fatal it is.”
Among the top leading causes of death in the U.S. and Illinois, Alzheimer’s comes in at number six. However, it is the only disease on the list that does not have a cure or even treatment to slow its progression. “This is why we need to find a cure,” Sarah said.
Involvement is key
One of the youngest volunteers of the Association, Sarah encourages people of all ages to become involved. “I know when you’re young, you don’t think the disease will have any effect on you, but who knows. Thirty years down the line, you could be the one taking care of someone, or vice versa.”
The motivation for finding a cure has pushed Sarah to spread awareness to younger generations. “Our generation is the future,” Sarah said. “And who knows – we could be the generation to put an end to Alzheimer’s.”