Archive | September, 2017

Why I Walk with Stephen Opitz

20 Sep


Why I Walk Wednesday_StephenOpitz

Pictured above is Stephen Opitz’s Grandfather, Robert Painter.


I’m walking in honor and memory of my grandfather to help reclaim the future for millions. My grandfather was a brilliant man who unfortunately lost his battle with Alzheimer’s four years ago this July. By participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care and support so we can find a cure and stop losing so many amazing people to this terrible disease.

Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.

I need your support to do my part! Please join me and other Princess Anne High School students, families, and friends and walk in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on the Va Beach Boardwalk on Saturday, September 23, 2017. If you are able, PLEASE make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s.  For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.

Stephen Opitz
Team Captain, PAHS Brain Trust
Coastal Virginia Walk

Volunteer Spotlight: Paul F. Aravich, Ph.D.

19 Sep

VolunteerSpotlight - Paul Aravich.png

Paul F. Aravich, Ph.D. is a behavioral neuroscientist at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk and a great friend of the Southeastern Virginia Chapter. He is a professor of Pathology and Anatomy; of Geriatrics, and of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Aravich often lends his expertise to chapter events, eager to share his extensive knowledge of the brain. Most recently you may have heard Dr. Aravich at our Day for Caregivers conferences back in June where he provided a brain demonstration to attendees during breaks from the seminars. Dr. Aravich has so much compassion for those with brain injuries and disorders and has dedicated his career to finding answers and teaching others about the brain. He believes educating the public is vitally important so they can take a more active part in advocating for legislation to support neuroscience initiatives that affect public health.

His honors include one of the highest awards for medical education in the US and Canada; Virginia’s highest faculty award for research, teaching, and service; 5 Virginia Gubernatorial citations related to public education and guardianship; and election into the Gold Humanism Honor Society. He is also on a member of regional.state boards related to behavioral health, TBI, guardianship, and dementia. He headed the Virginia Brain Injury Council and its first position paper on the neurobehavioral complications of brain injury. Dr. Aravich has given Congressional presentations on the epidemic of fatal behavioral health disorders to a program sponsored by the Congressional Public Health Caucus, on art and the brain to both the House and the Senate, and on traumatic brain injury to a program sponsored by the Congressional Brain Injury Taskforce.

Dr. Aravich has numerous publications and presentations and is interested in the cognitive and emotional consequences of various behavioral health disorders; positive behavioral controls for challenging behaviors; caregiver stress; Wounded Warriors; successful aging; the arts and medicine; and health care policy.

We are so lucky to have Dr. Aravich as a great friend to the chapter and long-time volunteer! If you have not yet heard Dr. Aravich present, please check out his TEDxNASA presentation “The Universe Between Your Ears” here! 

If you are interested in volunteering with our chapter, you can learn more information on our website at

Why I Walk with Paula Amburgey

6 Sep


Why I Walk Wednesday- Paula

Paula with her grandmother, Nadia Hansin


I’m walking to help reclaim the future for millions. In February, I lost my grandmother, Nadia Hansin. By participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care, and support.

Several years ago, my grandmother developed Alzheimer’s and she moved in with us. As a high school student, I took on a huge responsibility of making her comfortable during her most needed times. I helped during her hardest times where she needed assistance to eat and change. But the good times we spent together outweigh the bad times. She enjoyed getting flowers, eating sweets, and watching TV. My grandmother fought the illness whenever she could and had a strong backbone that consisted of her family and her caretakers.

This year I want to honor her memory. I hope you will join me by making a donation or joining a walk near you.

Paula Amburgey
Farmville Walk