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  • Writer's picturePamela Higer-Polani

Volunesia...

I am wrongfully accused continuously, especially on social media, of being

"a nice person". I jokingly respond by saying that these comment must stop; they

are ruining my reputation as an attorney. What did I ever do to deserve such

accolades?


Well, after a lifetime of supporting many philanthropic endeavors, I

initiated and chaired for several years the Boca Walk to End Alzheimer's for the

Alzheimer's Association. A year later, I created a largely-attended Luncheon,

which has since become known as the "Brain Bowl", an event in which

professionals, advocates and caregivers come together to further support and

bring attention to those living with dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


Lately, I learned a new word, “VOLUNESIA” : The Moment when you

forget you are volunteering to help change lives, because the process of doing so

has changed your own. This journey certainly has done just that for me, my

family and my law firm.


I do not have a family member diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. However, as a

South Florida native, born and raised here, I am involved simply because I love

our community and I want to see it thrive. Alzheimer’s has grown to be a huge

weed in our Garden of Eden, literally stealing the dignity and soul of our

neighbors, our friends, our loved ones.


As one person, I did not know what I could actually accomplish. However,

many incredible people quickly joined my efforts, demonstrating how working

towards a goal can empower oneself and energize the endeavors of everyone

involved.


As a lawyer and as a volunteer, I strive continuously to bring attention that

Alzheimer’s is hands-down the most expensive disease anyone will ever face, as

round-the-clock care is required for several years. Most people do not have the

financial, emotional or physical ability to handle that situation. Thereby, the

burden falls heavily on younger generations and taxpayers to meet this

overwhelming challenge. Yet, fundraising and awareness remains abysmally low.


I remain motivated to continuously do more by remembering that I was not

granted another day for my own purposes, but because someone out there

needs me. As Muhammad Ali once said, “Service to Others is the Rent that you

pay for your room here on Earth”.


Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much!!


Your time, your treasure or your talent—there is always something to give.

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