The Daily Gamecock

Alzheimer's club seeks to help college students with affected loved ones

Foundation group pushes to aid students indirectly affected by the disease

USC is chartering the first Alzheimer’s Foundation of America on Campus chapter in the nation this semester.  

AFA on Campus provides education, support and volunteer opportunities for college students with loved ones affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Elizabeth Owens, a second-year political science student, is the voice of the new organization. After her grandfather passed away, she immediately felt driven to start a chapter here.

“This was a devastating moment in my life, and I needed a way to cope with his passing, and the best way for me to do that was to give back to the Alzheimer’s community,” Owens said in an email response.

With the need to reach out to others, she joined the AFA Teens division, giving her the opportunity to successfully start a club on campus.

According to the AFA website, for each Alzheimer’s patient one to four family members are caregivers. Many young caregivers, like Owens, take care of their loved ones.

“Having a family member with Alzheimer’s is difficult and puts a real strain on family members,” Owens said.

Starting this fall, the first chapter will have an Alzheimer’s Walk, a services project and speakers who can explain the science of this disease. In addition, the group will explain proper care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Along with education and volunteer work, Owens hopes to provide support to others her age.

“My goal with the organization is to reach out to other people who are experiencing the same thing I did,” Owens said. “I hope USC students will feel as passionate as I do about supporting both those who have the disease and those affected by it.”

The AFA on Campus chapter can now reach out and help the young men and women like Owens. The organization aims to give hope to those who lost loved ones or others who are dealing with the debilitating symptoms of the disease.

It also gives young individuals like Owens a voice, to spread the news about Alzheimer’s. AFA is meeting every second Wednesday of the month and encourages contacting if interested.

For more information email the organization at


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