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PETER’S DIY MEMORY
WALK & JOG
My wife Joyce was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and
vascular dementia in June 2011. It definitely came as a shock. She
was always the clever one, an academic who loved to read, learn
new things, write poetry and play scrabble with her friends.
Joyce tried to carry on doing the things she loved, but it
became increasingly obvious she was struggling. Crosswords
were never finished, she stopped reading and there were lots of
other signs that things were getting worse.
By the end of 2014, I was beginning to struggle as Joyce’s
carer. I had lost a lot of weight and sleep deprivation was taking
its toll. When she was offered a place at a residential facility in
January 2015, it was the hardest decision of my life – but an
obvious one. It was a heartbreaking time. The loneliness was the
hardest thing to deal with. We have been married for 54 years
and had never been apart for more than a week.
I had seen the adverts for the Memory Walk & Jog, but had
never thought about doing it until one of the carers at Joyce’s
home mentioned that she and her husband were going to
participate at Penrith. That lit a fire under me and I decided to
get a team together. I contacted Alzheimer’s Australia NSW and
asked for posters so that I could get carers, residents’ families
and anybody else to sign up.
Quite soon it became obvious that, if I organised something
locally, I could attract more participants. My fundraising aims
were quite modest at first, but as we reached the initial target, I
increased it. Never did I consider that we would end up reaching
the four-figure total that we did, raising more than $2500.
We had great fun as well. What better activity can you think of
for a sunny Sunday morning than running or walking around the
village of Leura in the Blue Mountains? And the enthusiasm for a
repeat performance next year has been great to see.
The event was about more than just raising funds – it
was also about raising awareness. As researchers work
towards a cure for dementia, it is vital that we continue to
make people aware of this disease so that when we come
knocking on their door for donations they will give freely.
In addition we need to let people know what makes a
dementia-friendly community so that those who have been
diagnosed are able to continue to lead lives of the highest
People across the country are bringing Memory Walk
& Jog to their communities by hosting a DIY event.
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW will provide all the materials
and support necessary to help you create a successful
event. For more information, visit: memorywalk.com.au
WALKING AND RUNNING
We are almost at the end of
another successful Memory
Walk & Jog season, with
the final event set to take
place at Westport Park in Port
Macquarie on 4 June.
The season began in
Wollongong on 26 February,
then to Penrith, Sydney and The Hunter. Around 5500 people
have participated so far, raising $230,000 and counting! Funds go
to services for people with dementia, their families and carers.
Money raised during the Sydney and Port Macquarie events
will help fund two purpose-built, dementia-friendly gardens
at Alzheimer’s Australia NSW sites in North Ryde and Port
Macquarie. Aside from raising funds, Memory Walk & Jog plays
an important role in raising awareness about dementia.
Alzheimer’s Australia NSW would like to thank everyone who
has participated during the series for their fantastic show of
support. Thanks also to our major supporter Opal Aged Care for
their generous assistance this year and to state supporter Eli Lilly.
For more information or to register for the Port Macquarie
event, visit: www.memorywalk.com.au. To register your
interest for next year’s Memory Walk & Jog events, email:
WALK & JOG
Create your own personal challenge
by signing up to complete a MY
Memory Walk & Jog. It’s the perfect
way to enhance your fitness routine,
while raising funds and awareness
for Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.
By pledging to run or walk as
many kilometers as you like, you can be a part of our
One person doing exactly that is Elizabeth Eden, who on 8
October will complete an 8km walk from Taronga Zoo Wharf
to Kirribilli House in honour of her mum with dementia.
“After seeing Mum living with dementia for the past
10 years, I thought it was time to do more than just
care for her, and help others touched by this terrible and
debilitating disease,” Elizabeth says.
“There is nothing more heartbreaking than slowly being
forgotten by your Mum. The days of clarity are precious and
I would love to help see an end to this insidious disease by
supporting the charity that is trying to make this happen.”
Elizabeth invites anyone who would like to show their
support to join her on the day or visit her online fundraising
page at justgiving.com/Elizabeth-Eden.
Thanks Elizabeth, we think you’re great!
MEMORY WALK & JOG
25/5/17 2:47 pm
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