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Walk for Alzheimer’s in Kamloops set for May 28

This year’s walk is honouring Sandee Hall, who is among 85,000 people living with dementia in B.C.
Sandee Hall.

The Kamloops IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s will take place on Sunday, May 28, on the indoor track at the Tournament Capital Centre.

Registration is at 9 a.m., with the walk to begin at 10 a.m. Registration and donations can also be made online at

The walk raises awareness about dementia, challenges the stigma associated with the disease and raises funds to support people with dementia. Funds raised support programs and services like the First Link Dementia Helpline, and fitness and social programs such as Minds in Motion.

This year’s walk is honouring Sandee Hall of Kamloops

 “Getting the diagnosis is frightening and it hit me so hard at the beginning,” Hall said as she recounted the early days following her dementia diagnosis. “I said to myself, ‘I’m not certain if I can fight it, but I will embrace it.’”

Hall is focused on the positive and isn’t afraid to share her concerns with her family and others.

When she started experiencing cognitive changes, she said she managed them with an optimistic and open approach.

Hall used to work at a nursery and, for a short while, she could not recall the duties of her job. She knew then that something wasn’t right, but years went by with her thinking that was normal. When she told her family she was struggling, they didn’t suspect dementia at the time.

Hall’s symptoms were first attributed to medications she took for trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that causes nerve pain in the face.

When Hall was searching for volunteer work in Kamloops, she came across a KTW article about a memory test offered at a local clinic. The test showed memory loss and, shortly afterward, a PET scan confirmed her diagnosis of young onset dementia.

Hall is among 85,000 people living with dementia in B.C. If current trends continue, the province will see one of the most dramatic increases in the number of people facing the disease, with nearly 250,000 people diagnosed by 2050.

Hall is being honoured at the walk for her contribution to the community and her desire to help other people affected by dementia.

Hall now attends several programs through the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and considers her fellow participants an extension of her family.

“It’s like talking to my best friend,” Hall said of society support calls. “I can just let everything out.”

There are ups and downs in the dementia journey. When Hall tells the people around her she has dementia, she said they are often shocked and will say she looks and talks just fine.

“What am I supposed to look like?” Hall will ask, noting that kind of stigma drives her to educate her community about the disease and its impact.

Anyone with concerns or questions related to dementia can call the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s First Link Dementia Helpline, Mondays to Fridays:

• English: 1-800-936-6033 (9 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

•  Cantonese or Mandarin: 1-833-674-5007 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

• Punjabi: 1-833-674-5003 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)