Why they walk
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.”
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...