Will you help people like Donna?

Published: Nov 14, 2014

My family and I were thrust into this journey and it wasn't one of our choosing. We learned some important life lessons along the way. But we still found ways to hold on to hope, share meaningful moments and celebrate the happy times together. See the photos and a few more details here.

I contacted the social workers at the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. From them, I learned about the disease and gained valuable insights that I was able to put into practice when caring for my mother. As a result my siblings and I became less stressed and most importantly, Mom was happier.

It’s because of local donors like you that I found my lifeline.

The Alzheimer Society of Calgary receives over 1,500 calls each year from families who are grieving and in shock from a diagnosis, experiencing the painful decline of a loved one, or just feeling like they can’t cope on their own anymore.

Will you ensure those callers continue to find a comforting shoulder, a friendly ear, and practical tips and support by making a gift today?

Each day, another 8 people in Calgary are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. Hearts will be broken and lives will take a dramatic, life-changing turn like mine did. I want to make sure that those families can count on the Alzheimer Society of Calgary in the weeks, months and years ahead.

Looking back, I learned so much from my mom’s journey with dementia. The most difficult memories are bathing my mother for the first time, when she didn’t know who I was. And the guilt I felt on the days I couldn’t stay with her very long at the care home.

But I also remember the wise advice that someone gave me: “It’s not the quantity of time that you spend with her, it’s the quality.” I learned to appreciate the time I had with Mom and to live in the moment with her.

My mom’s journey even inspired me to make a career change. I’ve been working with seniors with Alzheimer’s disease for many years now. In my work I’ve met families who are lost. Spouses who are hurt by the new personality they witness taking shape in front of their eyes. Adult children who are trying to help but don’t know where to begin. Grandchildren who don’t understand what’s happening to their beloved grandparent.

It’s hard to imagine how overwhelming this journey would be if the Alzheimer Society of Calgary wasn’t there to help. To show families that it’s still possible to have joyful, meaningful experiences with a loved one who has dementia. And to help caregivers understand it’s OK to also take care of themselves.

You might have a similar story, or be moved by the cause in your own way. And you may already know that every day the need is growing.

With your gift, you can provide hope, insight and community to thousands of local families who are right now dealing with this disease. Please make a gift today. Every amount helps.

Together, we can help these families. Will you join me?

Thank you so much. I’m grateful for your generosity. Because I know that it was someone like you that changed my life, and my mom’s, when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Donna Sharrun

Make a gift now