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JANUARY 21, 2013 | To an Inspiring New Year!


To an Inspiring New Year!

by Memory Ball

Welcome to’s brand new blog on our gorgeous (if we do say so ourselves) new website. Tune in to read about everything we can’t fit within 140 characters or in an Instagram photo. The Friends for a Benefit (FFAB) committee members will be writing about their thoughts on Alzheimer’s, Memory Ball, our sponsors and anything else wonderful going on as we gear up to Saturday, March 23rd. We hope you enjoy reading this blog and please tweet, post or email us if you have any thoughts or concerns, or would like to write a blog post of your own.

Our first FFAB blogger is our Society Relations and Development Director, Cristina Costa.

With 2012 behind us, it’s time to start looking forward to all the wonderful things 2013 has to offer. For me, 2013 kicks-off with my sister’s wedding, a trip to Florida with Jason [Cristina’s boyfried], Winterlicious (my favourite part about the winter), and Memory Ball 2013…and that only takes me to the end of March!

Yes, it’s going to be a busy year for all of us. Although I’ll be running on adrenaline for most of Jan/Feb/Mar, I sometimes need a little inspiration to keep me going. So, in honour of the New Year, I wanted to share some kick-butt and truly inspiring stories of people all over the world, doing good in the name Alzheimer’s research and fundraising.

Benji Pister

Last August, 19-year-old McMaster student, Benji Pister, cycled from Toronto to New York (that’s 850 kilometers people!) to raise funds for Alzheimer’s disease in honour of his late grandfather. Pister completed the journey in 6 days and raised over $2,000! MORE+

One Direction

As if these cuties weren’t contributing enough to society with just their good looks! The group came together to raise $2,000 for an Alzheimer’s charity by donating a t-shirt signed by the entire band. Their motivation? Eleanor Calder, the girlfriend of band member Louis Tomlinson, has an Alzheimer’s stricken grandfather. MORE+

Barry Petersen

Not only is he an Emmy award-winning CBS news correspondent but Petersen is the author of “Jan’s Story” – the personal account of his wife’s diagnosis with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. In his book, Petersen breached a controversial subject known in the world of caregivers as “the dirty secret of the disease.” He explores the guilt he felt over finding a new relationship as his wife slipped deeper into the mist of Alzheimer’s.  Petersen’s book resonated with families across the country. MORE+

Soojeong Choe

Shortly after his grandfather passed away from a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, Choe started an Alzheimer’s Club at York Mills Collegiate high school and raised more than $1,000 through a handful of different events. The club grew to over 40 members and after graduation, Choe said he would leave the club in the capable hands of his younger brother, Soohyun. MORE+

Lewis Colam

As a novice rower from Plymouth, England, Colam completed a 1,800 mile rowboat journey from Miami to New York and raised $50,000 for the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. MORE+

Jill Pennell

In honour of her late father, this UK resident raised an incredible £5553 for Alzheimer’s research by biking across Cuba! MORE+

David Cameron

U.K. Prime Minister, David Cameron, is launching a program designed to change the way people think, act, and talk about dementia. Free awareness sessions will be held to teach people the know-how to make people with dementia feel understood and included in their community. MORE+

Max Levy

After his grandmother passed away from Alzheimer’s disease, Levy started the Growth and Awareness Group for Alzheimer’s at Byram Hills high school in Armonk, New York. Together with classmates, Levy raised $18,000 for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. MORE+

Pretty amazing, right? It’s incredible how motivated people can be when a disease like Alzheimer’s hits so close to home.

What I love the most about all these stories is each person understands that unlike other diseases, Alzheimer’s patients cannot fight for themselves. It’s our responsibility as family members and friends to take the initiative and fundraise on their behalf.

Huge congratulations to all the people and stories mentioned above – you guys are awesome.

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