CampbellOn Sunday I participated in the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories. I wasn't going to because I don't like asking friends for money.
Am I ever glad I changed my mind because doing the walk changed me forever.
My husband was diagnosed with dementia six years ago and my mother was diagnosed last fall. For many years, I have benefited from information and programs at the Alzheimer's Society here in Kelowna so I decided to walk.
I used the website created for the walk, my email, and Facebook to tell people what I was going to do. I was blown away by the many friends and family who responded and donated.
Some donated in honour of my husband, Les, and some in honour of my mother.
Many mentioned friends and family members with their donations. And so, on Sunday, I was walking not just for Les and mom, but also for people whom I will never meet.
When the walk began and we followed the bagpipers on the ceremonial lap around the track, I was very emotional as I thought of Les, mom, and all those who were represented at the walk.
We chatted with one another and shared our personal stories as we comforted one another. We were all walking to support a society that helps caregivers like myself, and families on the sad and difficult journey of Alzheimer's and dementia.
We also walked for a cure that will help people all over Canada. In a few years, many of us could be diagnosed with a dementia-related illness, so in a sense we were walking for ourselves and for our children as well.
If you have a chance to participate in a walk, go for it. If you are able to donate, please do so. Whatever you can do will make a difference. I know that for me, the walk will be part of my life in the future. Small act. Big impact.