Wednesday January 25, 2012

Community

Walking To Remember 

Kostrzewa honoured at this year's fundraiser Jan 29

Staff/Voice photo

 

Ron Angell talks about to Chilliwack city council on Monday about the devastation of Alzheimer's disease in the community and invited councillors to join them Sunday at the walk. Mayor Gaetz is a regular at the walks.

 

on Angell, Volunteer Chair of the Fraser Valley Alzheimer's Walk For Memories, was at the regular council meeting January 23 to give an overview of the Walk which takes place Sunday, January 29 at the Landing Sports Centre on Spadina.

Angell said, one-in-three Canadians knows someone with Alzheimer's disease.

"Recent findings from a national survey indicate low awareness of early signs of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. It's causing a delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment gap with people with this illness. More needs to be done to ensure families impacted by this devastating disease are getting help."

Angell went on to explain that "currently, more than 70,000 people in BC are living with this disease and other dementias and 10,000 of them are under the age of 65" and that if nothing changes, the stats could double in British Columbia within 30-years.

"The time to act is now and everyone has a role in turning the tide of dementia and by taking part in our walk," continued Angell, "you're making a real difference in the fight against Alzheimer's and other dementias."

"Last year we raised more than $650,000.00 province-wide, $26,500.00 in the Fraser Valley, a total we hope to beat this year. Funds raised ensure people in our community who are living with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias can connect to a province-wide network of information and services and support," he said.

Each year progress is made in the search for a cure and money raised funds the research.

This year, the Walk's honouree is Richard Kostrzewa who is the husband of long-time councillor, Dorothy.

According to Angell, the couple has been married for 55-years, have two children and he worked in the hotel industry for 16-years, then as a school bus driver until his retirement in 1991.

Mayor Gaetz thanked Angell and the others who accompanied him to the meeting, for the work they are doing "to give hope to people whose family members may be struggling right now as they've heard the diagnosis or they may be in the middle of walking through this terrible disease that robs so many people."

Gaetz also said that the "statistics are sobering" and that she was happy the Society had chosen Richard Kostrzewa as this year's honouree.

Gaetz gave a little background on ex-City councillor Dorothy Kostrzewa saying that she was the first Chinese woman in all of Canada to be appointed to office and also the first female councillor in Chilliwack.

"We'll be cheering on Dorothy, for sure, and we'll also cheering on Richard and we're very thankful for your work on their behalf and others in our community and I really hope that one day, we won't have to have a Walk for Memories any more, there'll be a cure and we'll be able to say that we were part of it in raising money, so I certainly will be there and I want to encourage the public to come on out and I also want to encourage members of council on Sunday afternoon to come and join us."

 

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