The Alport Syndrome Foundation (ASF), the leading non-profit organization in the U.S. serving the Alport syndrome community, is encouraging young patients to apply for the Paul Silver Tribute Award. The deadline for submissions is on Nov. 4.
The award aims to enrich the lives of patients between the ages of 16 and 22 years old to support their education, help complete a project, or pursue an activity that will enhance the applicant’s life. Up to $1,000 will be awarded per person.
The award was created in honor of Paul Silver, an Alport syndrome patient who was a film and music editor in Hollywood. Silver died in 2004 at only 38 years of age. In 1985, Paul received a similar award while he was a filmmaking student in college. He needed a camera to document his trip to Tuscany, Italy, where he was going to attend a summer school program.
By winning the award, Silver was able to make a documentary film about his experiences in Italy and about the benefits of this program for the university. The Paul Silver Tribute Award aims to help other students achieve their goals.
Alport syndrome is a genetic kidney disease that leads to kidney function decline, vision problems and hearing loss. The disease causes kidneys to fail by the time boys reach their 20s. Girls are affected too, even though similar effects are visible only later as disease progresses.
“We are in our fifth year of accepting applications for this award,” Sharon Lagas, ASF’s board president, said in a press release. “Eleven young people with Alport Syndrome have already received this award and their stories are inspirational, full of courage and provide positive role models for other young people affected by this disease,” she said.
The award can be applied to different sets of objectives and activities, like school tuition, summer camps, music lessons, educational trips or a specific personal project. Applications will be assessed based on the purpose and potential impact of the applicants and their projects, the quality of their accompanying essay and recommendations.