Michael Harbott is sharing his and his wife Maureen’s experience on the dementia journey to raise awareness for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

Michael Harbott is sharing his and his wife Maureen’s experience on the dementia journey to raise awareness for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

Family shares their story to create change for other families affected by dementia

The book, Our Fine Romance, is the kind of love story that most will never know. Yet, this is the true story of the lives and love of Michael and Maureen Harbott.

Thirty years ago, Maureen started typing out her family history and tales of growing up in London, England during the Second World War. She encouraged Michael, who also spent his childhood in London, to do the same. So Michael, who couldn’t type at the time, wrote his contributions by hand and Maureen typed them out. Their collaboration took 12 years, then sat untouched for several years while Maureen’s symptoms of dementia progressed. Finally, Michael wrote the last chapter and immortalized their story in print.

“She never really knew that we had a book,” Michael says. “What a wonderful legacy to leave. It was an amazing achievement and I never thought I could do anything like that. If Maureen hadn’t started writing I never would have done it.”

Michael and Maureen are among the people affected by dementia who are being honoured at the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s this May. The online event is the largest fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and, this year, participants are encouraged to walk their own way throughout May before joining together for an online celebration at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 30, streamed on the Alzheimer Society of B.C. Facebook page.

Maureen now lives in long-term care, with support from Michael, as well as their children and many grandchildren. Michael has been active in the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s caregiver support group in Tsawwassen, and has fundraised to help ensure others have access to the same support and education they do.

“When we started with this disease, there was quite a stigma,” Michael says. “People didn’t talk about it, but you can’t escape it. By being open, it draws other people to you.”

Funds raised for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s help British Columbians at any stage in the dementia journey by supporting the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s programs and services. To register for the event, participants can visit walkforalzheimers.ca, choose their local community and create a fundraising page to share with friends and family. No matter where or when they walk (in accordance with current public health orders), participants will make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia and their caregivers.

If you are affected by dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help. Visit www.alzheimerbc.org to learn more.

Event participants walk where they want, when they want throughout the month of May.

Event participants walk where they want, when they want throughout the month of May.

Health and wellnessPhilanthropy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Delta Patriots Cricket Club takes Surrey, other clubs to court over Cricket BC voting

‘At issue is the propriety or legality of the voting procedures within Cricket BC,’ Justice John Harvey noted

Surrey Eagles forward Rocco La Cara battles with Coquitlam Express forward Dante Berrettoni during a game earlier this season. (Damon James photo)
Surrey Eagles wrap up BCHL ‘pod’ season with win over Coquitlam

South Surrey-based junior ‘A’ hockey team finishes with 17-2-1 record

A grave marker at the old pet cemetery in Newton, from video posted to the Youtube channel Exit Thru the Gift Shop.
SURREY NOW & THEN: Newton’s abandoned pet cemetery now surrounded by houses

VIDEO: Former B.C. Pet Cemetery might also be a burial site for human remains

Surrey RCMP detachment in Newton. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP say cryptocurrency fraud on the rise

They’ve received 59 reports of cryptocurrency fraud totaling $612,748 since January

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Most Read