The worlds of blockchain and Alzheimer’s disease would seem to have nothing in
common. For most people, that would be true. For Jason Brink, they are personally
The President of Blockchain at Gala Games, Brink was drawn into the world of
Alzheimer’s disease when his father, Tom Brink, was diagnosed with younger-onset
Alzheimer’s just after his 50th birthday.
“It was very early and very extreme,” said Jason.
The family was living in rural California at the time, hours away from the nearest
neurologist, so they relocated to Billings (MT), so that Tom’s wife, Pamela, could
more easily drive her husband to the renowned Billings Clinic for care in the clinic’s
neurodegenerative medicine wing.
Tom passed away from the disease at age 57, but the family’s commitment to the
Alzheimer’s cause has not slowed. Since 2018, the family has participated as a
team in the Billings Walk to End Alzheimer’s under the moniker of “Tom’s Turkeys.”
The name had its origin in Tom’s playful name for his three children when they
would goof up as kids.
Jason said, “Walking for Tom’s Turkeys has been important to me because going through this experience with my dad really showed how vicious this disease is and how no family can do it alone. The Alzheimer’s Association does so much good with the money fundraised from care and support, to pushing forward on research and treatments. It is worth every effort to give back to them.”
The worlds of blockchain and Alzheimer’s disease converged recently when Jason
was participating on an industry video conference call. The clean-shaven Jason was
chided by others on the call for being the only unbearded participant.
“When I was asked why I don’t have a beard, I said ‘because it will look terrible! My hair is light and very thin, that is if it will even grow!” That led to a challenge.
Jason offered to grow a beard if someone would donate $100,000 to his Tom’s Turkeys Walk to End Alzheimer’s team.
“Instantly the guys on the call were egging me on! I have never had a beard before because it has been so hard to grow, so I made them put their money where their mouth was and challenged them to meet my fundraising goal for the year at the very least!,” he said.
Within 10 minutes, the donation was made, and the gift put Tom’s Turkeys 2021
fundraising total at $112,753 – well over its $100,000 goal. Jason added, “I should have made it more!”
And, as a bonus, Jason reports that the beard turned out “great!.”
But that’s not the end of Jason’s blockchain and Alzheimer’s connection. As a
blockchain theorist, he is currently leading Gala Games’ efforts to create new
approach to gaming that can generate donations for people’s favorite charities.
“There are ways to be very creative with fundraising in this space,” Jason noted. “If
we do this right, it could make a lot of money for charity – and one of those will be
the Alzheimer’s Association.”
Losing his dad to Alzheimer’s disease was tragic, but Jason knows the risk to his
family doesn’t end there. Both of his grandfathers suffered from neurodegenerative
disease as well.
“I definitely have a hereditary gun pointed at my head,” Jason said.
Jason explained that part of what makes blockchain so unique as a database is that once data is entered into it, it is irreversible. Much the same can be said of Alzheimer’s disease – the sixth-leading cause of death and the only major disease without a prevention or cure. So far, there has never been a survivor of this irreversible disease.
“I’ll do anything to help solve this problem,” Jason said. “I know I am not the only one in the blockchain space or the Gala community to be affected by Alzheimer’s. We have some really amazing resources to help push forward to the future where this disease doesn’t exist anymore..”
The Billings Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at Rocky
Mountain College, 1511 Poly Dr. in Billings, Montana, starting at 1 p.m. To learn more, go to www.alz.org/walk.
To Donate to Tom’s Turkey’s go here. – https://act.alz.org/site/TR/Walk2021/MT-Montana?team_id=675993&pg=team&fr_id=14604
To stay up to date with Jason Brink and what Gala Games is doing with charity fundraising join their Discord channel here – https://discord.com/invite/EHgJJM6SdQ
ABOUT ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION
The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. www.alz.org
ABOUT GALA GAMES
Launched in 2019 and powered by the world’s largest independent node network, Gala Games has been built to give power to the gaming community. As the first blockchain gaming platform, Gala Games has created an ecosystem where players and creators may be rewarded for their participation.
Founded by Eric Schiermeyer, the co-founder of Zynga, and operated by a global and diverse group of gamers, engineers, art enthusiasts, and geek-culture aficionados with teams in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Korea and the Philippines.
For more information please visit www.Gala.Games
Join the conversation Discord @ GalaGames.Chat
FB/TW/IG/LI @GoGalaGames #GoGalaGames
Jason Brink (L) and his father Tom (R) doing paint therapy. Jason Brink now with a beard. Photo by Aaron Aubrey. Both Courtesy of Jason Brink.
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