A Story of Unconquerable Spirit Wins Fox Trail Senior Living's Statewide Alzheimer's and Dementia Awareness High School Essay Contest
May 20, 2019
Winning essay author, 10th grader Lilia Bose, will receive a $1,500 college scholarship
Fox Trail Senior Living, New Jersey's largest network of boutique assisted living, Alzheimer's and dementia care homes, is proud to recognize Lilia Bose, a sophomore at Teaneck High School in New Jersey, as the winner of their statewide essay contest. The contest was designed to promote Alzheimer's and dementia Awareness amongst young people.
This year’s essay topic was: “How Alzheimer's or dementia has Impacted a Family Member, or Someone You Know.” Lilia’s insightful composition profiled her father, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Prior to his diagnosis, Lilia’s father was a prominent cardiac surgeon who fully understood both his diagnosis, and its effects.
Fox Trail’s leadership team described the essay as, ‘courageous, ‘vulnerable’, and ‘inspiring’. Lilia vividly depicted her emotions as her father’s Alzheimer’s worsened. “Simple, everyday tasks such as picking my sister and I up from school, he could no longer do without assistance. I was hoping that he would still remember who he was and who we were. I felt emotionally immobile and powerless. This experience revealed to me that I have an unconquerable spirit,” shared Lilia in a caption from her essay.
What helped Lilia move beyond feelings of hopelessness was knowing that she had a foundation of support and a circle of trusted friends. Her friends attended her father’s funeral and she was given a bracelet that read, “Friends support friends.”
When asked how young people could gain a better understanding about Alzheimer’s and other forms of age-related memory loss, Lilia shared, “The best thing for my generation is to look into becoming more aware by learning how to support friends and family. Just be there.”
Her words of advice to anyone who may be going through the same experience are, “At times, it may seem dark and hopeless. No matter how unbearable a situation is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You have to keep pushing and trying. Things will look up. There is a brighter side.”
Fox Trail will award Lilia up to a $6,000 scholarship ($1,500 per year) applicable towards a college of her choosing. Lilia is interested in pursuing a career in medicine, like her father and mother. She is inspired by her family and hopes that a medical career will give her a connection to her family’s passion.
“We are grateful to all the entrants for the thought and effort put into their essays,” said Fox Trail’s Managing Partner, Michael Eisele. “With the support of guidance counselors, administrators, teachers and parents, we have not only increased awareness, but also empowered young people to have a voice in conversations surrounding Alzheimer’s and dementia.”