Participants at a previous IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s event in a photo posted to the event website.

Alzheimer’s walk in Surrey to honour woman with ‘Cinderella’ story that got complicated

May date set at Eaglequest golf course for this region’s annual fundraiser

The Eaglequest golf course in Surrey will play host to the region’s IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s on the morning of Sunday, May 5.

The annual event is organized as an opportunity for Surrey residents to remember or honour people who have been touched by dementia and also raise funds to support those living with the disease today.

Each of the 21 events in B.C. is dedicated to an honouree – an individual or group affected by dementia, or someone who has greatly contributed to the lives of people living with the disease.

This year, the regional event for Surrey, White Rock and North Delta will honour Elaine Friesen-Carter.

“Elaine and her husband Dave have the kind of love story most would only read about: high school sweethearts who discovered later in life that the love they once had was real,” according to a release.

“After a lifetime apart they rekindled their teenage romance and got married.”

But in 2013, their “Cinderella” story became complicated, when Dave was diagnosed with dementia. Elaine then connected with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. to attend education sessions and support groups.

“It helped me focus on what was important the support that he needed from me and that I needed to get through this thing,” she stated.

Diagnosed with cancer, Elaine pushed to have Dave’s health conditions treated rather than written off as a part of dementia. This advocacy turned out to be life-saving for Dave, she explained, and now Elaine has become a voice for other caregivers.

“The road does become increasingly difficult, but there are always bright days ahead,” Elaine added. She and Dave enjoyed a holiday at home with their family – “a Christmas miracle,” something unexpected, “but it was a real gift.”

Funds raised during the May 5 event in Surrey will help Alzheimer Society of B.C. in its support and education work in White Rock, North Delta and Surrey, and also “help facilitate research into the causes of and the cure for the disease, so we can look towards a world without dementia,” according to the organization.

For every gift made online to the walk in B.C. before April 14, donors have pledged to match donations up to a total of $100,000. For registration and other details, visit walkforalzheimers.ca, email Whiterockwalkchair@alzheimerbc.org or call 778-242-0751.

Dementia is a term that describes a general group of brain disorders. Symptoms include the loss of memory, impaired judgment, and changes in behaviour and personality. Dementia is progressive, degenerative and eventually terminal. There are an estimated 70,000 people living with dementia in B.C.

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