For the fourth year in a row, Little Voice Books is excited to join The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County in the Walk for Dementia! This powerful community event has brought people together since 1996 who have been impacted by alzheimer’s or a related dementia to raise funds for much-needed programs and services.
In August 2017, the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County became The Dementia Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County to more properly reflect the constituency it helps and the scope of its expertise. And so, the Walk For Alzheimer’s became the Walk for Dementia.
While the name has changed, the goal remains the same!
When an individual receives a dementia diagnosis their life changes forever. So does that of their closest family or friends who often take on the role of caregiver. The majority of people who approach us for help, or are referred, are walking the dementia journey as a caregiver, spouse, child or close friend. On other occasions an individual who has been diagnosed with dementia will connect to us. Some of our social programs and education offerings are designed for caregivers to attend with their loved ones.
By offering caring and supportive counsel, dementia and caregiver information, education, referrals and help navigating the health and social care system as well as social, recreational and caregiver peer support The Dementia Society helps over 7,500 people every year and receives the support of thousands of donors, volunteers and supporters to sustain our efforts. This is truly a community organization working for its community.
– The Dementia Society
For Little Voice Books, the Walk for Dementia is an opportunity for founders Amanda Bernardo and Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor to give back to their community. While the Forget Me Not Project supports the national Alzheimer Society of Canada, the walk is an opportunity to support the local Ottawa division.
Each year, Little Voice Books supports the Walk by donating a portion of each book sale to the Dementia Society Movement. From not until May 10, 2018, use the promo code dementia at checkout and we’ll donate $5 from each book sold to our team fundraising goal!
Why I Walk for Dementia?
Each year, when the walk begins recruiting team captains and walkers to participate in the Walk For Dementia, it forces me to pause and think about why this walk is so important to me. For those of you who have followed my journey since my first walk until now, you know that I walk for my grandmother Teresina Bernardo.
My grandmother was diagnosed when I was just a little girl and has been living with Alzheimer’s disease for 22 years. While I wished I could have slowed the disease or cured it altogether, I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring back her memories, I eventually couldn’t speak with her, and in the end, the severity of the disease has completely stripped her of her identity and of our relationship with one another.
For someone who hasn’t had Alzheimer’s or a related dementia effect their lives, it’s hard to put into words what the impact truly is. I guess like any other disease, it is a unique impact, one that is never easy to talk about. I recently opened up about what a challenge it truly is for me to talk about Alzheimer’s disease or mental health publicly, how I’ve had to train myself to not let my emotions escape me and to remain strong. One reason I love this walk so much is because I don’t have to speak, I can find solace in being surrounded by people who can relate.
Despite my own emotional struggle in accepting the impact this disease has had on my grandmother and family, I know how important it is to raise awareness and to fundraise. I commit to this walk each year because although I can’t share my day with my grandmother; invite her over to my first home; introduce her to my new puppy; and tell her how much she inspires me on a daily basis; I can walk, I can speak out, and I can fundraise. Because I can do all of this for her, I do it without hesitation.
I walk today because I know that what I do now will have a positive impact tomorrow.
Whether dementia has touched your life or not, I encourage you to join me in making a difference in our community by walking or by making a donation today!
– Amanda Bernardo
Our 2018 Goal
This year we hope to raise $1000 to support The Dementia Society and all those living with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia. Our fundraising goal, however, is only one aspect of our 2018 goal. This year we hope to build a team of 30 participants. We want to grow our message, further awareness, and fundraise together! Interested?
Save the date!
Please join us on Saturday, May 12, 2018 in the Walk for Dementia! The event will feature a pancake breakfast, a family activity zone, and a walking route in and around Tunney’s Pasture, it’s a wonderful way for individuals and the community to support caregivers and families in Ottawa and Renfrew County.
On Tuesday, January 16, Teresina Bernardo will be celebrating her 89th birthday. Please wish her a happy birthday by making a donation in her name.