Why they walk

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page - News

BY TARA MAC­DON­ALD

Staff The re­cent 6th an­nual Walk for Alzheimer's at the Tim Hor­tons Dome in Alexan­dria was a huge suc­cess with more than $12,500 raised to sup­port Alzheimer’s pro­grams in our com­mu­ni­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Cam­paign Co­or­di­na­tor Josée Roy-Pilon, the Walk helps bring aware­ness to the cause and pro­vides fi­nan­cial sup­port for pro­grams that en­able peo­ple af­fected by de­men­tia to con­tinue to be part of our com­mu­ni­ties.

“I have four kids and we are all here to walk for grampa,” said Liane Green. “My dad Roger Jeau­rond grew up in Alexan­dria. In 2009, he was di­ag­nosed with Frontal Tem­po­ral De­men­tia, or FTD for short. Ev­ery since he was di­ag­nosed, we’ve been try­ing to cre­ate aware­ness.” Mr. Jeau­rond was di­ag­nosed at only 59 years of age and now re­sides at the Maxville Manor. “The money raised goes to the lo­cal Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety. My dad used a lot of those ser­vices, like the day pro­gram,” said Ms. Green.

Ms. Green’s un­der­stand­ing of the dis­ease, how it im­pacts fam­i­lies and her com­pas­sion for oth­ers mo­ti­vated her to par­tic­i­pate in the event, share her story with oth­ers and ring in some of the top dol­lars raised. “It’s im­por­tant to cre­ate aware­ness and raise funds for the so­ci­ety,” con­tin­ued Ms. Green. “We know be­cause we’ve been there, we’ve used them, and it’s avail­able to the com­mu­nity but some peo­ple don’t even know it’s out there to help them.”

Si­mon McDon­ald, founder of the newly-formed ACFC No. 1 Don­ald High­landers, Alexan­dria Cadet Force, also knows all too well the chal­lenges of Alzheimer’s Dis­ease and how it can af­fect chil­dren and care­givers. “My mother has Alzheimer’s, she’s now living at home with us,” said Mr. McDon­ald. “A few of the cadets are our chil­dren, so they are af­fected by it too. Events like this are im­por­tant not only for the fundrais­ing as­pect but also for ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness.”

Mr. McDon­ald’s group played a large role in sup­port­ing the event, sell­ing 50/50 tick­ets and pro­vid­ing first aid ser­vices.

Stu­dents from Glen­garry District High School also pitched in to help en­sure the Walk was a suc­cess. While some stu­dents gained credit for their school pro­grams, oth­ers, such as Joy King of Tagwi Sec­ondary School, were driven by per­sonal rea­sons.

“Alzheimer’s runs in my fam­ily,” said Miss King. “My great-grand­fa­ther had it, so I’m a lit­tle afraid that maybe my parents could have it too. That’s why I like to help raise aware­ness. I’m glad I came and my parents are proud of me for be­ing here to­day. I got to learn about peo­ple’s sto­ries. It was re­ally im­pact­ful.”

TARA MAC­DON­ALD PHO­TOS

SPE­CIAL REA­SONS (Right) Joy King, a Tagwi stu­dent from Moose Creek says, “Alzheimer’s runs in my fam­ily. That’s why I like to help raise aware­ness.” (Above) Josée Roy-Pilon re­ceives a do­na­tion from Stu­art Nixon, of the Alexan­dria Royal Cana­dian Le­gion...

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