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Key Alzheimer Society of B.C. fundraiser in Prince George honours couple 

Brian Stanley and Penny Jones.

A poet, coach, wrestler, lacrosse player, teacher, father and grandfather, Brian Stanley was beginning to look forward to the next chapter of his life with his spouse Penny Jones. With four now adult children, the couple had plans to begin travelling and spending more quality time together.

However, in 2021 Jones began noticing changes to the man she had spent more than two decades with. 

“It was becoming quite a pattern to others that I couldn’t seem to remember certain everyday things in the house,” Stanley says. “What light switch hits where and which closet has what in it? And we’d been living in this house for nearly 20 years.”

This began a journey of tests and doctor’s appointments, culminating in a diagnosis of early onset dementia in 2022.

Stanley is among the 85,000 people living with dementia in British Columbia. Coming up on Sunday, May 26, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s largest fundraiser will raise funds in Prince George for essential programs and services and ensure people living with dementia and the people who care for them don’t face it alone.

The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, presented by Go Auto, takes place at the YMCA of Northern BC, 2020 Massey Drive. Registration starts at 1 p.m. followed by the Walk from 1:30 to  3:30 p.m. For more information

The annual Walk helps provide critical supports for people affected by dementia, while breaking down stigma surrounding the disease. Each of the more than 20 events across B.C. is dedicated to an honouree – an individual or group affected by dementia, or someone who has valuably contributed to the lives of people living with the disease. This year Stanley and Jones are being honoured at the Walk in Prince George for their contribution to the community and their desire to help other people affected by dementia.

“Receiving a dementia diagnosis can either come as a shock or a relief – or anything in between for the thousands of people who develop the disease each year in B.C. and the supports they each need are just as individual as they are,” says Laurie DeCroos, Support and Education Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. in Northern British Columbia. “Every day we see firsthand how different resources we provide empower people to face the challenges of dementia and live well at different stages in the journey. The Walk is an opportunity for everyone to take part in providing essential support and feel the power of walking alongside neighbours and friends on the dementia journey.”

One of the resources Jones relies on, as the spouse of a person living with dementia, is the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s First Link® Dementia Helpline.

“When Brian was first diagnosed, I phoned them and I don’t know what it was, I just lost control,” she says. “I’m not generally a crier. Every time I phone them, I cry. And I think it’s just because there’s a safe person that gets it.”

To help make a difference in the lives of people like Jones and Stanley on the dementia journey in your community,

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