At the young age of 7, Jessica Sayo is well aware of how Alzheimer’s can affect those you love as she witnessed her grandpa, Tony Matera, deal with the disease. Tony and his family, became heavily involved with the LIAD Center soon after he was diagnosed. Jessica learned first-hand the importance of her grandpa’s weekly ‘retirement club’ and learned to love everyone there just as much as he did. Inspired by how happy and fulfilled her grandfather seemed from the LIAD Center, she decided to do what she can to be proactive and support its services and programs.
Jessica’s first big fundraiser was a lemonade stand, raising an impressive $56. Due to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, she went for a more socially distant route this time, selling hand-made bracelets. In less than a week, Jessica sold 250 bracelets! The purple bracelets come with a fact about Alzheimer’s in efforts to increase awareness and education about the disease. As orders continue to come in, all proceeds are donated the LIAD Center.
“The LIAD Center’s programs provided our family with the loving support needed at the most difficult time in our lives,” says Lisa Sayo-Matera, Tony’s daughter and Jessica’s mother. “My father was lucky to participate in the day and in-home respite programs, while my mother participated in the support groups and many other LIAD programs making lifelong friends and getting much needed support as the primary caregiver of an Alzheimer’s patient. This is a great way to thank the LIAD Center for giving families an opportunity to participate in the programs just like her grandpa did.”