Couple share their story to bring more visibility to dementia

The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s will help families at any stage in the dementia journey

Susan Martin and Peter Gook are sharing their experience on the dementia journey to raise awareness for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

Peter Gook, a self-reliant, ex-military man, who loves his work life, travelled the world pre-pandemic with his wife Susan Martin and regularly runs 10k races, struggled to accept his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

“I was absolutely shocked,” says Peter, who first accused his doctor of lying to him. “You have this idea of what someone with Alzheimer’s is like and when it happens to you it’s totally different.”

That idea that so many people have of what someone living with dementia is like – that a person is no longer capable of doing all the things they did before they developed the disease – is what motivated Peter and Susan to drive all the way to Vernon to access Alzheimer Society of B.C. resources, rather than connect with the Society’s resources in Salmon Arm. Peter and his wife Susan are now ready to bring more visibility to dementia, to motivate people who may be struggling with their diagnosis to reach out for support and to know that they’re not alone in their community.

One way they are doing this is by sharing their story as honourees for 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.

The event raises funds for Alzheimer Society of B.C. programs and services such as Minds in Motion® which is now available online, as well as support groups. For Peter, attending groups such as these is important – but not easy when it comes to watching the progression of the disease and the death of other group members. Why some people go so quickly, he says, while others keep fighting through the disease is something he grapples with.

“Sometimes it’s still hard for me to realize that I have Alzheimer’s,” he says. “I would like it to go away, but it’s not going to. I have to live with it.”

To register for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, 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

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Accessibility improvements and more classrooms at the Houston Christian School should be completed by the new school year. (Houston Today photo)
Accessibility improvements coming to Houston Christian School

Construction package includes two classrooms

The soft opening of the nature centre at the Buck Creek CANFOR hatchery took place mid-April. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)
Houston hatchery and nature centre’s upcoming events

The conservation group to host summer students this year

Council wants a say in the expansion of long term care services in Smithers. Pictured here is the Bulkley Lodge facility in that community. (Google photo)
Long term care remains on council priority list

Wants to be involved in expansion plans in Smithers

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Leaked report shows detailed B.C. COVID-19 data not being released to public

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Abbotsford school board trustee Phil Anderson has stepped down after sharing an offensive image on Facebook. (File photo)
Abbotsford trustee temporarily steps down after sharing post relating COVID masks to slavery

Phil Anderson to receive training to better understand provincial mask mandate after posting picture

B.C. announced the launch of an app May 7 that connects youth struggling with mental health and substance use with “life-saving” social services. (Screen grab)
5 years in the making: Mental health app for youth and children launches in B.C.

The province provided $1.6-million to fund a virtual care platform

Amazon has announced the creation of five new facilities in B.C., to employ about 2,000 people. (Amazon/Special to Black Press Media)
Amazon adds new facilities in Langley, Pitt Meadows, Delta, Vancouver

The Vancouver port centre will be the first Amazon centre to feature robotics in B.C.

A worker rides a bike at a B.C. Hydro substation in Vancouver, on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
BC Hydro report raises safety concerns as pandemic prompts jump in yard work

Incidents involving weekend tree trimmers, gardeners and landscapers have risen 30% since the pandemic hit

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht public works dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Most Read