Daniel Demaras has his sights set on conquering the kart racing world. In the process, he’s also determined to help speed up the fight against dementia.
The 15-year-old from Scarborough, ON, fell in love with go-karting when he was just five, racing around public tracks like the now-defunct Nascar Speedpark in Vaughan, ON, with his siblings and parents always in hot pursuit during family outings to satisfy his need for speed.
Fast-forward to today, and Daniel is fully entrenched in racing culture, with his own sponsors, a family-run racing team (Demaras Racing) and now a cause, Racing to End Alzheimer’s.
According to the Demaras Racing website, in four seasons of racing, Daniel has won more than 20 races, placed on the podium 30 times and earned numerous pole positions.
These are all accomplishments he’s proud of, but his biggest challenge is off the track. Earlier this year, Daniel spoke about why he’s so motivated to raise money for Baycrest, mentioning that his family has been touched by the disease.
In Canada, more than 1.1 million people are affected directly or indirectly by dementia.
Daniel hopes that by his example, others will be inspired to help Baycrest.
“I think it’s very important for people of all ages… to raise money and raise awareness to fight Alzheimer’s; because it’s a terrible disease that affects a lot of people,” he says. “The more people who know about it, the more people work to fight it, the better it will be for people who suffer from it now and those who will suffer from it in the future.”
Daniel’s initial goal was to raise $1,500 from his community of supporters, friends and family through his Racing to End Alzheimer’s campaign. Instead, he surpassed his goal, raising more than $4,100 for Baycrest and other organizations. Those funds were matched by his California-based corporate sponsors at Racing to End Alzheimer’s.
The lesson that Daniel came away with is that anyone can play a part and have an impact in supporting the fight against dementia.
“If I can, on my own, raise more than $4,000, imagine what we could raise if everyone just took some time to fundraise as well. Even one person can make a difference,” he says.
To support Daniel’s fundraising efforts, visit r2endalz.org/demaras and direct your gift to Baycrest.
Baycrest is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Baycrest is home to a robust research and innovation network, including one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute; the scientific headquarters of the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, Canada’s largest national dementia research initiative; and the Baycrest-powered Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals. Through these initiatives, Baycrest has remained at the forefront of the fight to defeat dementia as our organization works to create a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment. Founded in 1918 as the Toronto Jewish Old Folks Home, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org