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Oak Lawn Students Design App To Help Alzheimer's Patients

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A group of kids from the southwest suburbs had hoped to learn it would be named one of the winners in Verizon's Innovative App Challenge for junior high and high school students.

A school from Kentucky beat out the kids from St. Catherine of Alexandria School in Oak Lawn, who designed the Remember Me app, to help those with Alzheimer's Disease.

The app would store pictures and profiles of people an Alzheimer's patient knows, creating a scrapbook of sorts to jog his or her fading memory.

The app was proposed by seven 6th grade girls at St Cahterine. Twelve-year old Annie Gainer came up with the idea, thinking about her 82-year old grandfather who has Alzheimer's.

"My grandpa has a scrapbook we made for him with pictures of his grandkids, and our aunts and uncles," she said. We kind of just took that idea and went with it."


Annie said her grandfather doesn't remember her without that scrapbook, or her reminding him.

Remember Me would also have facial recognition software, so someone with Alzheimer's could just take a picture of a relative, or someone close to them, and the device would tell him or her all about that person.

Annie's family, including her grandpa, is very proud of her.

"When my aunts found out, they started crying, because they were so proud, and they were so happy that it would help so many people," Annie said.

Twelve-year old Autumn Stanke is part of the seven-girl team that developed Annie's idea.

"It could be universal. so everybody could use it. I just thought it was a really great idea," she said.

Besides a cash prize for the school, winners also receive help in developing their app idea.

"It's not for the prize money, or anything. I really just want to help other people, because it's such a hard disease," Annie said.

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