First Alzheimer walk to take place in Petrolia on May 12
There have been over 3,000 people in Lambton County diagnosed with Alzheimer disease or dementia.
“We know with every diagnoses of Alzheimers, the disease affects two other people,” said Marie Marcy-Smids, manager of fund development and communications with the Alzheimers Society Sarnia Lambton. There are over 6,000 other caregivers and family members who are affected.
And while Alzheimers and dementia has affected so many families, The Walk for Alzheimers will be held in Petrolia for the first time on May 12.
There are over 600,000 Canadians living with dementia and Alzheimers. The Alzheimer Society Research Program began in 1989, and over $67 million in grants have been invested in research.
The program has two goals, to encourage research, which would explore the radical new ways to advance the knowledge of dementia and to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia, their families and caregivers
There is no known cause or cure for Alzheimers and dementia, but living longer is the biggest risk.
It has been estimated if the onset of dementia could be delayed by 10 years, over four million new cases of dementia could be avoided by 2050.
The World Health Organization estimates five to eight percent of people will live with dementia after the age of 60.
People’s memory loss gradually worsens to the point where their abilities deteriorate to where they are no longer able to care for themself. The only way to know if an individual has dementia is to talk to a doctor and get tested.
The local Alzheimer Society is hoping to raise more in Lambton to help uncover more about dementia by holding two walks this year.
Marcy-Smids hopes the walk in Sarnia and Petrolia will raise $65,000.
She said the annual Walk for Alzheimers usually happens on the last weekend in May, but due to other events in Petrolia being on the same day, it was decided to move the event ahead to May 12. The Sarnia walk will be held on the last weekend in May.
People can register online at www.walkforalzheimers.ca or can register at the event.
Registration opens the day of the walk at 10 a.m. with the walk beginning at Black Gold Brewery at 11 a.m. with the Petrolia Lions Club holding a luncheon at noon. The route will be five kilometres and will return to Black Gold Brewery. Participants will be have a passport and will be asked to attend as many as participating businesses and organizations along the route.
Blake Ellis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent