No better reason to enjoy a walk

My name is Roger Marple. I sit on the board of the Alzheimer Society of Alberta and Northwest Territories, and I am happy to say I live well with Alzheimer’s.

As a person living with dementia, I have had the opportunity to share my story and have had meaningful discussions with the community and medical professions in Red Deer.

I have also been interviewed by the Red Deer Advocate about the very real challenge stigma is for a person living with dementia, and for families who live with this disease as much as we do.

The comments and views in response to my story showed that the people of Red Deer are open-minded, accepting and understanding toward people with dementia.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

I wanted to share that with you before getting to the point of my submission. Every year, the Alzheimer Society hosts a fundraising walk here in Red Deer.

This year, it is on Saturday, June 15. Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia have been identified as the No. 1 health concern in the world. There is no cure, and not one advancement for a treatment to slow down the disease has been discovered.

There is a 100 per cent mortality rate for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Every three seconds, someone around the world is diagnosed with a form of dementia and it is estimated that another 50 per cent go undiagnosed.

In Canada alone, in the next 10 to 15 years, cases of dementia will double. According to Statistics Canada, three out of four people already have been touched by this disease in one way or the other.

So, back to the walk.

Did you know that your participation helps support the many programs and services at the Alzheimer Society? The society also invests heavily in research. Your donation dollars will make a difference.

To the people living with dementia who are still able to go for a nice walk — where are you?

To the hundreds of people who have been touched by this disease in some way, and all the caring people in the community — where are you?

For me, it’s not all about the money raised, although this is very important. It is the support from the communities that I want to see.

I’m having a hard time seeing the down side of a leisurely walk in a beautiful park, then enjoying a barbecue with other community members.

For those who are not into a walk, perhaps you could find it in your heart to make a donation in support of someone you know who is walking, or to the society.

You can sign up or make a donation at www.walkforalzheimers.ca

I will be walking in my home town of Medicine Hat, and I encourage you to please walk with us here in Red Deer.

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