Alzheimer’s Walk

Summer reporter
Marc Stuempfle

The Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts hosted the annual IG Wealth Management “Walk for Alzheimer’s” here on Saturday, raising awareness of the disease which affects more Canadians each year and funds to help those afflicted and their families.

A sea of Alzheimer Society blue swept over the riverfront that morning as many people strolled along Front Street showcasing their support by wearing T-shirts provided by organizers for everyone who registered.

The walk here raised about $6,800 with generous contributions by the team from Church of the Holy Spirit and individual contributions from Blayne Orr and several others.

Fort Frances was one of several joint walks across the Kenora and Rainy River Districts and has been raising funds for several years.

Approximately $11,000 was raised by the walks altogether, although donations are still coming in according to Rossana Tomashowski, executive director of the local Alzheimer Society.

Participants jaunted beside the river, sharing stories honouring loved ones past and present; some even shared pictures in their memory.

People also spoke about some of the hardships they faced with the physical and emotional tolls the disease took on their family.

Despite these somber moments, it did not detract from all of the happy times loved ones had together.

For all of the community’s dedication, many participants received gifts from the Alzheimer Society including gift cards, hanging flower pots, and flower beds of “Forget-Me-Nots.”

This flower was chosen by the Alzheimer Society to be its symbol as it implies remembrance, signifies true love, and remembering positive memories shared between two people.

For the half a million Canadians diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the dim reality is an irreversible condition where a person’s brain cells are destroyed and bodily functions begin to shut down.

The Alzheimer Society strives to make a positive change and ease the transition for families and those impacted by the disease.

Taking care of someone with dementia or Alzheimer disease can be a very physical and emotional burden for families.

As the brain cells begin to deteriorate, a person will lose both cognitive and functional abilities making simple tasks more strenuous.

Difficulties surrounding dementia and Alzheimer’s disease include the various rates symptoms can progress and the unpredictable order in which symptoms can appear.

Although there has not yet been a cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, it has not stopped local residents from donating funds to help support the Alzheimer research and support services.

The day was absolutely fabulous and the Alzheimer Society is very thankful for all the contributions. This includes Robin Wright and the local IG Wealth Management team.

“Our staff and volunteers are amazing and we appreciate all that they do to make our event a success,” stated Tomashowski.

Every contribution helps encourage a positive impact on bettering lives affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, she added.