CARROLLWOOD — Beau Brickson is more than just an eighth-grader who has a 4.0 grade-point average. He has more on his mind than video games.
In fact, he has a lot more on his mind. On his mind are the memories he has of his grandmother and his great-grandmother. Both passed away from Alzheimer’s disease.
Beau may be a middle school student — he attends Buchanan Middle School — but he is mature beyond his years.
Tijuana Flats, 10019 N. Dale Mabry Highway, is donating 10 percent of all sales from 4 to 9 p.m. Sept. 4 to the Alzheimer’s Walk team, “Kids & Care For a Cure.” Beau is the team captain.
Beau became involved with the cause last year when he walked for the first time with a neighbor’s team and became hooked. Now, he is determined to do what he can to end the disease.
Beau’s grandmother was a military wife who followed her husband around the world as he served in the Air Force. His great-grandmother, Jerri Conner, worked at the U.S. Geological Survey in Tampa and also suffered from Alzheimer’s.
On Oct. 5 is the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, an event to raise awareness and fight the disease, and Beau is passionate about it. So far, he has raised $520 and as a team, they have raised $650.
But Beau wants more.
“I have seen things first-hand and don’t ever want to see it happen to anyone else,” Beau said. “It just shouldn’t happen and I want to do what I can to help.”
And even though he’s still a young man, Beau remembered the time he realized his grandmother was suffering.
“We went on a vacation and she was having trouble knowing who we were,” Beau said. “We tried to play a card game and she didn’t really know how to play the game. She always knew how to play. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know what.”
Most of Beau’s spare time has been spent spreading the word of the fundraiser at Tijuana Flats. He had mass emails sent to everyone at Buchanan Middle and has set a goal of at least 25 friends to walk with him on Oct. 5. Alzheimer’s, Beau said, is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and he wants to move that a lot further down the list.
To join or support Beau’s team, visit act.alz.org or call (813) 765-1602.