CORNWALL, Ontario – The Alzheimer’s Society of Cornwall and District held the first of their three annual walkathon fundraisers in Cornwall. The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s took place at the Benson Centre on Saturday, May 4, 2019.
A special guest speaker invited to the walk this year was Rosaline Fillion, who has been living with dementia since February of 2018.
“Everything crumbles when you receive your diagnosis,” said Fillion. “There is a lot of stigmatization that I live with and it is as if this disease is constantly on your forehead.”
Fillion said that people need to understand that patients living with dementia are more than their diagnosis.
“People should ask those with dementia how they can help, and not just act on their behalf,” she said.
Fillion also wanted people to use Alzheimer’s in the right way, and not joke about it, which she pointed out is something that never happens with other diseases, like cancer.
“In my opinion, there is an abuse of the word Alzheimer’s,” she said. “We use it for anything and everything. We even make jokes like: “Oh, I forgot to buy bananas at the grocery store, I must have Alzheimer’s!” Yet it isn’t funny. We don’t make jokes about cancer though. We don’t use that term as an excuse. It is stigma. And it is hurtful.”
There will be two more Alzheimer’s walks in support of the local Alzheimer’s Society. One in Alexandria in June, and one in Rockland in September. Together these walks raise around $50,000 for the local Alzheimer’s Society, which uses the money to fund their programs such as their Minds in Motion program, which combines physical and mental activity to benefit both.