NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More than 4,000 people¬†filled Riverside Park Sunday to raise over¬†$1 million for Alzheimer’s research, and for one high school student it was also a day of special honors.

As CBS 2’s Ilana Gold reported, the teen is dedicated to changing the lives of people decades older.

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“My grandfather has had¬†Alzheimer’s disease for 11 years. My aunt is his caregiver and has really struggled to stay awake and care for him,” said 16-year-old¬†Kenneth Shinozuka.

For Shinozuka, Sunday’s event was about more than fundraising. It was about protecting his family.

“That’s where the inspiration for my project came from,”¬†he¬†said.

Shinozuka earned special honors on Sunday for his new invention that detects when his grandfather gets out of bed throughout the night.

The Horace Mann School student made a sensor for his grandfather’s foot that sends a message to his caretaker’s phone so he can’t wander off, Gold reported.

“One¬†day I was daydreaming and saw my grandfather step out of bed,”¬†Shinozuka explained. “My grandfather’s using it. He’s been using it for 11 months now and it’s had a 100 percent success rate.”

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When it comes to¬†Alzheimer’s research, the teen said his work is only just beginning. He’s working to come up with more inventions to help patients.

“I’m considering incorporating WiFi in my system so it increases¬†transmission distance from transmitter to caregiver’s smart phone,” Shinozuka said.

And¬†Shinozuka’s work is something the New York City¬†Alzheimer’s Association is grateful for.

“The faster we can find a cure and come up with ways to care for people, the better off we’re all going to be,” said Lou-Ellen Barkan, president of the¬†New York City¬†Alzheimer’s Association.

The association honored Shinozuka with its first-ever Young Innovators Award.

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