Sunday May 29th saw the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan hold their fundraising walk in the Alfred Jenkins Fieldhouse.
Participants from a variety of ages and backgrounds followed a pair of local bagpipers for the first walk around the track. Together, they raised $5,000 worth of donations, with another $5,000 matched and donated by Canadian Tire.
“Today we walk for Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias,” event organizer Laura Erickson of the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan said.
“It’s a chance for people to remember the folks who have it. Also, this disease influences not only the person, but their family, their community at large. It’s everything. It’s so insidious.”
Roughly 747,000 Canadians live with Alzheimer’s Disease, including 20,000 in Saskatchewan. Erickson said it’s important for anyone who knows an Alzheimer’s patient to research the disease, especially since those numbers are expected to keep growing.
“Today is about drawing attention to the disease,” Erickson said. “It’s about the importance of research. It’s about the importance of remembering for people who have come before us, and those that are coming after us.”
Other members of the Prince Albert community also see the importance of the walk. Rupert Bremner of Investors’ Group Wealth Management, one of the walk’s sponsors, said supporting Alzheimer’s research was important to him because of how it affected his family.
“My uncle died of Alzheimer’s, and I just feel there’s so much of it in the world today,” he said. “The Alzheimer’s Society of Saskatchewan is so good in helping with resources and helping families out going through that situation, so it’s really important to me.”
Another attendee, Shelby Holcomb, also had a personal tie with the disease. Her grandmother died with Alzheimer’s, and that inspired her to support the research projects and raise awareness.
“It’s closely related to my heart,” she said. “I thought I’d come out and help out as much as I can.”
Holcomb brought her two young children along for the walk to help teach them about the Alzheimer’s Society and their mission.
“It’s really important that they know and have awareness of different organizations,” she explained. “It’s good to show them things like this.”
Also among the walkers was Prince Albert Northcote MLA Alana Ross, who said it was important for the community to support the walk.
“We are so blessed that Alzheimer’s is not something we’ve dealt with in our family, but I’ve worked lots of years with people with Alzheimer’s Disease,” said Ross, a former nurse.
“I’ve seen the impact it has on the families, so being able to come and support this is really important.”
Donations will still be accepted online until May 31st, feel free to check it out at https://alzheimer.ca/sk/en