ASF is pleased to offer the Paul Silver Tribute Award each year to young people in the Alport syndrome community. Winners are chosen based on several criteria, including the quality of their essay and the purpose and potential impact of the award.
ASF is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2016 Paul Silver Tribute Award:
- Maddison (17) from Connecticut
- Sarah (17) from Washington
These young women are an inspiration and role model for their peers, as well as all patients, with their positive attitude in not letting their disease impose any limitations on what they want to accomplish in life, as noted in the quotes below from their essays:
“[Alport syndrome] has taught me how to love myself and communicate better with my peers. I no longer struggle with accepting my hearing loss. I’m not ashamed to tell other people about my deficient hearing or damaged kidneys. Physically and spiritually it is a natural part of me.” (Maddison)
“Finding out about this made me want to prove that this disease was not going to bring my family down…” (Sarah)
The Paul Silver Tribute Award was created in memory of Paul Silver, an Alport syndrome patient. Paul was a film and music editor in Hollywood who passed away in 2004 at the age of 38. In 1985, he was the recipient of a similar award while studying film-making in college. Paul needed a camera to document his trip to Tuscany, Italy, where he was planning to attend a summer study program. He applied for, and won, an award that enabled him to purchase the necessary equipment to make a documentary film about his experiences in Italy and the benefits of this program for his school.
Awards are granted annually to selected individuals that are 16 to 22 years old, up to a maximum of $1,000. Young people in this age group are particularly hard hit by this disease.
The purpose of the Paul Silver Tribute Award is to help young people with this disease achieve one of their goals. The award can be used for a variety of activities, including summer camp, music lessons, an educational trip or a specific project. Previous awardees have used the award for a variety of fun experiences:
- Jessica used her award to help defray the costs of a semester at sea. She and fellow students spent a summer semester on a cruise ship in the Mediterranean traveling to nine different countries in Europe and North Africa while earning college credits for classes taught aboard the ship.
- Austin shared Paul Silver’s dream of making films. Austin purchased camera equipment that allowed him and his small production company to make films and other projects.
- Angelica was majoring in horse training and used her award to purchase a new saddle and cover other expenses associated with rodeo barrel racing.
- Will had the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica with his school Spanish class to experience visiting a foreign country and practicing his language skills.
- Robert and Corey used the award to purchased new computers to help them complete their college assignments.
“We are excited to offer this wonderful opportunity to help young Alport patients,” said ASF Board President Sharon Lagas. Applications are accepted annually beginning in late summer and winners are announced each January.