For the past 6 seasons, NFL Saftey Adrian Amos has battled on the gridiron as a member of both the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. If you have caught a glimpse of him in action, then you know all about the intensity and passion that he brings to the game. What you may not know is where all that passion he plays with goes when he’s away from the field. For most of his professional career Amos has dedicated his off the field time to his I’m Still Here Foundation. Founded in 2019, the foundation was a way for Amos to give back to youth and communities that were often overlooked and ignored while simultaneously bringing awareness and support to a cause that hit extraordinarily close to home, Alzheimer’s disease. Amos’s biggest supporter growing up was his grandmother, Geraldine Thompson. Amos witnessed first hand the effects and sometimes excruciating emotional toll that Alzheimer’s can have on both the individual suffering from it and the family that surrounds them. This is how Adrian Amos turned his family’s most trying times into lasting hope for so many others.
“My passion for philanthropy has always been on two things, how we can best serve the youth in communities that do not have a lot of resources and the elderly, but specifically those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and Dementia just like my grandmother did. When I started this foundation, I originally was going to choose just one of the two to focus on, but my heart and love for both would not let me separate the two. So, we found a way to support and focus on both.” Alzheimer’s awareness is important to engage people who may not know how severe the effects of the disease may be and it can enroll new eyes and boots on the ground for the cause. However, support for the patient and their families is something that is equally important in the process, something that the I’m Still Here Foundation goes above and beyond to help provide.
“Support and care for an elderly patient with Alzheimer’s is more than a full time job. It’s 24 hours a day. My grandmother would wake up in the middle of the night scared or confused. At a point, she became immobile and everything had to be done for her. She had to be bathed, she had to be fed, and it becomes hard on the caretaker. Sometimes they will forget who that patient is and fight back or get frustrated, but that is where we come in. Our goal is to take the pressure off everybody. The last thing a family should have to worry about during this time is having the right insurance or being able to afford proper care. That is where our work together with the Alzheimer’s Association comes in.” This battle is not just about easing financial hardships, but also about vehemently working toward a cure or even a way to prolong life. “If there is a cure to be had, we are going to help find it. I watched my Aunt do a tremendous job with my grandmother and I truly believe her care prolonged her life. Through the work we do with the Alzheimer’s Association, we not only work toward research and a cure, but we help to provide the other things like comfort and proper care that we believe prolongs life just as it did for my grandmother.” As a matter of fact, Amos took this cause to the field in 2020. For every tackle he made, he donated 1,000 dollars to the Alzheimer’s association. After making 83 tackles and with some help of others who caught wind of what he was doing, Amos raised over 100K toward finding a cure.
As mentioned before, the other half of the I’m Still Here Foundation’s work is in providing for the youth. “My main goal is to be able to provide training and mentorship to as much youth as possible. This is the future of our world and I will do anything I can to help these kids get what they need to be successful. With Covid, it put a lot of things to a screeching halt, but we are in the process of bringing that all back. We have held camps for kids providing both football skills and integrating life leadership skills into it as well. We have gone to schools to hand out backpacks and supplies. Anything we can do to make life easier on them and ensure a brighter future, we will do. Period.” Now, I usually do not comment on this, but man you had to see the way Amos spoke about helping these kids. You can tell that he believes in this cause with every molecule in his body. “I was fortunate enough to have coaches and others give me these leadership skills and qualities while I was growing up, I would be doing the world a disservice if I didn’t give my all to providing the same.” Covid put a damper on his camps, but that did not stop the work being done by Amos and I’m Still Here. “I wasn’t going to let the pandemic stop us from delivering on our promises we had already made. We went out there with our boots to the ground and did our best to provide essentials and PPE to those who needed it.”
The typical media and fans will always try to dehumanize professional athletes. They think because of the money and platform they have, that they do not care about anything outside of their own bubble or things that do not make them even more money. That is just simply not the case, especially when it comes to Amos. “What kind of person would I be if I didn’t do what I could to provide a better life for others? I am blessed to be a member of the National Football League and yes I worked extremely hard to get where I am, but I am even more blessed to be able to use what I earned in order to slowly make the world a little better of a place whether through our work with Alzheimer’s patients or the youth.” For more information on the I’m Still Here Foundation and how you can get involved, please visit www.aaimstillhere.org