Penticton residents can join 10-year-old Talia Yorish in raising funds for dementia, during the 2020 Climb for Alzheimer’s.
The young Penticton local is determined to make a difference, and this year is running in honour of her late grandmother, Mariam.
This year marks Yorish’s third time participating in the Climb for Alzheimer’s, a fundraising challenge which raises awareness and money for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.
What’s more, each year she has celebrated her birthday participating in the event. She considers it her own present to herself.
“I want to raise awareness of the challenges and struggles that families affected by dementia have to face and show that these challenges can be conquered too,” said Yorish.
She took on the challenge three years ago after witnessing how Lewy body dementia affected Mariam. Lewy body dementia brings with it similar symptoms to both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, and often progresses rapidly.
She witnessed how quickly this affected her grandmother’s ability to perform basic tasks, and decided at that point to do what she could to help.
“It was hard to see her struggling in her care home. But I also had fun times playing balloon volleyball, bingo and singing with her and the other residents. My grandma was the funniest and she always made me laugh. She was always smiling and laughing until she left us and I’m thankful for all those memories,” said Yorish.
Last year, the youth raised $1,800, making her one of the top finishers in the province. This year, she hopes to beat this and raise $2,000.
In April, Mariam tragically died, so this year’s run has special significance for more than one reason.
The society explained that this year’s event, in response to physical distancing protocols, runs until September 21. Penticton residents can participate by hiking in their community.
The Alzheimer Society of B.C. encourages locals to help contribute to their goal of 70,000 kilometres hiked across B.C., one kilometre for everyone living with dementia in the province.
Those who participate will be raising money for research, and to ensure those affected by dementia can access programs and services through the Society’s First Link dementia support.
The society encourages those hiking to adhere to current physical distancing recommendations.
For more information about the Climb for Alzheimer’s, visit climbforalzheimers.ca.