Generous Red Deerians recently contributed time, cash and cardio.
About 130 people turned out for the Walk for Alzheimer’s under sunny skies at Bower Ponds on Saturday morning, and at CrossRoads Church, there was another big turnout for the Relay for Life.
“It was an awesome day today,” said Kerrie Jobs, with the Alzheimer Society’s Red Deer and central Alberta branch.
Investors Group came in as a national sponsor this year and dozens of its staff volunteered.
The funds raised locally stay in Red Deer and go toward support programs, she said. There are adult, child and spousal support groups, as well as teen, walking and coffee groups. Seeds of Hope is offered as an online support program.
Jobs said donors have the option of choosing where they want their money go, whether it’s for research, education or another program.
“Once you’re diagnosed, you can live a lot of healthy years,” she said. “A lot of people think the worst, obviously, when they’re diagnosed.
“But we want people to know you can live well with dementia,” of which Alzheimer’s Disease is one type.
Jobs said those with Alzheimer’s are encouraged to stay active, to eat healthy and, above all, remain socially connected.
The Canadian Cancer Society Relay for Life is a nationwide event that aims to bring communities together to celebrate survivors, honour those we’ve lost and commit to raising funds to fight all types of cancer.
For 12 hours beginning at noon on Saturday, relay teams took to a circuit at CrossRoads Church just west of Red Deer to raise funds and awareness.
Beverley Beckley, from the local Relay for Life Committee, said nearly 90 per cent of Canadian Cancer Society’s funds come from donations, sponsors and fundraising events.
They are critical to bankrolling the society’s work funding research, programs and services for those touched by cancer and for advocacy on cancer-related issues. The goal in Red Deer was to raise $50,000.
“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, they have many questions and concerns,” she said. “We listen to Canadians and offer programs and services to help people with cancer, survivors and family caregivers cope.
“For instance, a spouse can share the fear and worry they feel with someone who knows exactly what he is going through as a result of our support programs.”
The society also takes on initiatives such as lobbying for longer federal employment insurance benefits for those who need to take time off work to care for critically ill children or family members.”
Nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with a form of cancer in their lifetimes.