Group of Londoners reach new height in the fight against Alzheimer's
LONDON, Ont. -- Carol Walters, CEO of the Alzheimer's Society London and Middlesex (ASLM), and Wendy Thompson, an ASLM Board Member have conquered one of the Natural Wonders of the World, Mount Kilimanjaro.
After being personally impacted by the devastating disease, the pair wanted to do something to acknowledge their mothers - who were both diagnosed with dementia.
The women agreed that climbing to what some call the Roof of Africa, would be a good opportunity to acknowledge the struggles and the journey that people living with the disease go through every day, and to help overcome this disease by raising money for the ASLM.
And last month, they were able to successfully complete their mission, but not without struggle.
During their six days to summit, they realized this was not any easy feat. The weather did not cooperate, they dealt with strong wind gusts of up to 80 kilometers per hour, and heavy snow that slowed them down.
The group trained for their climb by hiking the Boler Mountain trails about three times a week for several months. But even with that training, they experienced altitude sickness.
“I said 'Things aren’t right,' I was not feeling good, so we called our lead guide, and told him that I was having a hard time seeing and breathing. He said you need to get down now, you need to descend. The altitude didn’t get me as much going up, it was on the way down,” says Walters.
It took them seven days to climb to the summit, and two days to descend. Walters and Thompson, along with their husbands (who joined them on this journey), set a goal of raising $10,000, one dollar for every two feet of the ascent.
As of Thursday, they have raised just over $15,000.
All donations will be directed to local programs and services offered by the ASLM, supporting the various journeys that people living with dementia and their care partners are on.
There are over half-a-million Canadians living with dementia, and approximately 8,500 in London and Middlesex County.
They are still accepting donations until Wednesday, Nov. 20.