Annual walk builds bridges for dementia awareness – Geelong Times

Annual walk builds bridges for dementia awareness – Geelong Times
Annual walk builds bridges for dementia awareness – Geelong Times

Locals are gearing up for the annual Memory Walk & Jog to raise awareness and funds to support people living with dementia.

The event, hosted by Dementia Australia, will be held at Eastern Beach Reserve, Geelong on April 28 from 7.30am.

It forms part of a network of 17 Memory & Jog events planned for the year.

Participants can choose to register individually or in teams to complete either a 2km walk, a 6.5km walk/jog or an 8.5km timed run.

Even dogs are welcome on the day.

So far, more than 450 people in the region have registered for the Geelong event, raising almost $30,000.

Dementia Australia chief executive Maree McCabe said the community’s generosity meant the organisation was already well on its way to achieving its fundraising goal of $100,000.

The event is one of Dementia Australia’s biggest fundraising activities, with all funds raised helping to expand the programs and service available to those living with the disease.

“We love being in Geelong and meeting people in the area and our thanks and appreciation for each and every one of them,” Ms McCabe said.

“There are people living with dementia that attend these walks, there are carers and family members and loved ones, and I love speaking to people and having them share who they are walking or running for on the day.

“It really is about building a community, building awareness. People network. They build friendships. It’s such a special event.”

The Memory Walk & Jog is one of Dementia Australia’s biggest fundraising events, helping to support research partnerships, and expand the services and programs on offer to those living with dementia, as well as their families and carers.

Dementia is the second leading cause of death nationally, and there are an estimated 104,000 people living with the disease in Victoria.

Without a medical breakthrough, this figure is expected to double by 2058.

Ms McCabe said the Memory Walk & Jog also played an important role in raising awareness of the disease.

“We know that people living with dementia can often face discrimination in the community, and this isn’t intentional by people.

“Dementia is a disease that really is a largely invisible disability and it’s really important that people understand what dementia is, how it impacts people, and what they can do to support people living with it – and their families and carers – so they can stay in the community longer, living in an area they love with the people they love.”

Those interested in participating can register at the event, or ahead of time via memorywalk.com.au/events/geelong

For more information, or for support, phone the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.

Source: timesnewsgroup.com.au

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