It’s hard to escape the paper hearts littering store fronts and gift shops this month. Valentine’s Day approaches. It’s love month. I think this time of year is an opportunity to recognise not only romantic love, but all versions. While I am certain of the love that drives my actions, I felt at a loss to define the love as I experience it with my mother who is living with Young Onset Alzheimer’s. It’s so simple to me but also so complex. I was having trouble putting this into words so I want to share what someone close to me said when I expressed to him my inability to express…
[caption id="attachment_3390" align="aligncenter" width="710"] Illustration by Steven Twigg[/caption]
There are many, many songs, articles, studies, artworks - that all ask the question, "what is love?" There is no clear answer, but many would consider true love to be something that never fades; a timeless feeling that may evolve and change but is always a part of who you are. This permanence, even in its immediately visible absence, is something that can't be taken away, not even by a disease. –Steven Twigg
This Canadian Alzheimer's Awareness month, Kath reflects on how her story has been told in the media and her life with Alzheimer's.
A few of the interviews I've done recently state that I "put my life on hold" to deal with my mom's diagnosis. I want...
Young Caregivers Read Letters To Their Parents With Alzheimer's
Every year at Memory Ball, we want to make sure everyone knows why they're attending our event. Yes, Memory Ball was the party of the year, with an animated-GIF photo booth, watercolour portrait artist Beckie di Leo, an unreal silent auction and raffle, cooler than cool DJs Alex Tribe and Guillaume Viau, burritos and of course our sexy sax band, Sax 5th Avenue.
But, what's most important about Memory Ball is raising awareness of Alzheimer's disease. Without awareness, we can't vanquish this terrible disease. This is why we had a Wall of Memories, where we asked guests to contribute photos of loved ones affected by the disease for guests to see and reflect on the lives touched by Alzheimer's. One of the highlights of the evening for the organizing committee is the video we show about Alzheimer's. We feel that the video portion anchors the event into the cause and motivates attendees to truly end Alzheimer's for good.
The amazingly talented Kath Fudurich (Head of Community Outreach at Memory Ball) filmed Memory Ball caregivers Claire Poirier, Katie Johns and Kath's own twin brother, Jamie Fudurich reading letters to their parents with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Claire, Katie and Jamie were all in their teens when their respective parents were diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer's or dementia. The video is moving and there was nary a dry eye in sight when we showed it to our guests. Afterwards, a touched Cathy Barrick (our favourite CEO) declared that we would "kick Alzheimer's ass" to the cheering crowd.
Aryn Gatto is new to the Memory Ball team this year. Aryn's passion and enthusiasm have been a huge gain for the Memory Ball team and we welcome her big smile and creative spirit. Here are some words Aryn shared with us about her grandmother, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, and some reflections on their relationship. I have often thought that the following Shakespeare quotation aptly suits my Baubie: “And though she be but little, she is fierce.”Albeit a bit on the shorter side, my Baubie has always demonstrated remarkable strength. Having lost her husband at a young age, my Baubie raised three children, including my wonderful mother, all on her own. She took care of us as kids just about every Saturday for as long as I can remember. She taught us how to tie our shoes, read to us, and took us on walks and little adventures around her neighbourhood. She always ensured that we left her house well-fed, made sure that we didn’t go outside with wet hair on those cold, winter days, and sent us home with a Dixie cup full of treats. These are the little things that I know I, and my sisters, will always cherish.All this to say, although it is difficult to watch our Baubie change and her Alzheimer’s disease progress, she has played a big part in my life and who I am today – that will never change.
by Kathleen Beveridge
There is power in connection. There is power in memory. The aim of #HeartOverAlz is to bring people together.
When I composed my “best of nine” 2015 for Instagram the emotions that overtook me when my #HeartOverAlz image was included ranged from sadness to...