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"Everyone has a voice deep down inside them, a voice that says “shine”.
Some have loud voices, while some have quiet ones. Some people’s voice
is so quiet they never get to hear it, while those that do may choose not to
listen. Unfortunately, only a few decide to act on this voice, the stars
who influence others to listen themselves."Find your Little Voice
For the second year in a row, Little Voice was extremely excited to participate in the #WalkForAlzheimers in support of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County!
This year, not only did we fundraise for this important cause, but we also worked closely with the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa as part of the organizing committee behind this event! We were blessed to work with such amazing people, hear from so many who are affected by this disease, and ultimately contribute to a successful walk!
The #WalkForAlzheimer’s raised $370,329.00 dollars, had 130 teams and over 1000 walkers!
Since Little Voice first set out to share its story, it has also set out to fundraise behind a cause extremely close to their heart…
Little Voice was very excited to meet with the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County this past week to learn more about the organization’s team and how they use donations to support a variety of programs and initiatives.
“I am so honoured to work with the Alzheimer’s Society and to be able to use the Little Voice platform as a means of creating a positive impact in my community, specifically with those living with Alzheimer’s disease or a form of related dementia. I know my grandmother would be extremely proud of me if she were able to comprehend all that I am doing in her name.” – Amanda Bernardo, author of Little Voice
The most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease affects men and women of all races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. It is not a normal part of aging and no one is immune.
Alzheimer’s disease holds a very personal connection to Little Voice’s author Amanda Bernardo. Her grandmother, Teresina Bernardo, has been struggling with the disease for over twenty years.
When Amanda first set out to write Little Voice, she knew she wanted to give back. Her partner and illustrator on the project, Samantha Clusiau-Lawler, couldn’t have agreed more with Amanda’s decision to support the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Together, they started the Little Voice Forget Me Not Project!
The Little Voice Forget Me Not Project donates a portion of each book sale in support of the Alzheimer Society of Canada!
The reality is that an estimated 500,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Over 70,000 of them are under 65 and approximately 50,000 are under the age of 60. 1 in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. In just 5 years, as much as 50% more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. Within a generation, the number of Canadians with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, will more than double, ranging between 1 and 1.3 million people.
Today, Little Voice is extremely happy to donate our first $500 in honour of Author Amanda Bernardo’s grandmother Teresina Bernardo – the first $500 of many!
The Alzheimer Society Walk for Memories is a province-wide event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and education. Held annually in more than 65 communities across Ontario, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to help support people living with dementia.
Author Amanda and Illustrator Samantha joined hundreds of others in this year’s
2015 Walk for Memories!
I was so honoured today to walk for my grandmother, Teresina Bernardo. She was 67 years old when she was officially diagnosed with this disease. Having lived with Alzheimer’s for over 19 years, she now finds herself in the final and more difficult stages of this disease.
The topic of Alzheimer’s has always been an emotional one in my family. It would be difficult for any family living with this disease to describe it. However, I recently read an article that truly took the words right out of my mouth; the article read: “The more I lose my mom to Alzheimer’s, the more I experience how painful it is to miss someone who is sitting right in front of you.” That’s just it, typically when we lose someone we have a chance to say goodbye, to mourn and to heal. Yet, with Alzheimer’s you don’t really get that. You say goodbye after each conversation and watch as this disease slowly strips you away from your loved one’s memories. You see someone you love disappear even though they are standing right in front of you.
Today, for the first time, I was surrounded by so many others who understood what it meant to live with Alzheimer’s disease. To see so many people together in one room, fighting for the same cause, was truly inspirational and I am truly truly honoured to have been a part of this initiative. Being part of today’s event gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It inspired me to continue fundraising, advocating and doing whatever I can to help bring awareness to this disease and the funding needed to finally find a cure!
This was my first year walking, but it most definitely won’t be my last!
– Amanda Bernardo, Author
Today was a reminder of how Alzheimer’s disease has touched the lives of so many people. When I saw such a big community of people come together to walk, I was overjoyed with their positive spirits and hopes that someday, with much fundraising, we will find a cure!
Walking alongside Amanda today was truly wonderful. Ever since we launched Little Voice she has wanted to give back in some way or another to our community. I was 100% on board when she chose to help the Alzheimer’s Society. I knew why Amanda chose to donate to this cause, but today I was fortunate to have Amanda share with me her grandmother’s story. I am so proud to join her on this journey with Little Voice to now support this community we are so thankful to be a part of!
I look forward to walking many more kilometres in support of this amazing cause and I encourage you all to donate if possible or join us on our walk
– Samantha Clusiau-Lawlor, Illustrator
Amanda and Samantha circled the track 25 times and walked a total of 5 kilometres!
The Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County had over 600 walkers present, with 82 teams and … drum roll please … raised
And I have no control over which yesterdays I keep and which ones get deleted. This disease will not be bargained with. I can’t offer it the names of the US presidents in exchange for the names of my children. I can’t give it the names of state capitals and keep the memories of my husband …My yesterdays are disappearing, and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I’ll forget that I stood before you and gave this speech. But just because I’ll forget it some tomorrow doesn’t mean that I didn’t live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn’t mean that today doesn’t matter.
– Lisa Genova, Still Alice