A well-known soccer player is coming to Kelowna to speak about dementia and the effects it has on those diagnosed with it and their families.
Bob Lenarduzzi will be speaking at the inaugural Breakfast to Remember, a fundraiser by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. The fundraiser is also held annually in Vancouver and Victoria. Last year, the two cities brought in a combined total of $242,000 in support of dementia education, support services and research.
Lenarduzzi first stepped onto the world stage in the ’70s. Now, he’s an advocate for those living with dementia and their families.
“Nobody likes to talk about dementia, but we have to,” he said.
“A lot of families are going through what we went through and while we can’t change the diagnosis, we hope we can change how B.C. families experience the dementia journey.”
Lenarduzzi’s father-in-law died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. Shortly before his father-in-law’s death, Lenarduzzi’s mother was diagnosed with dementia. She died in 2014.
Another speaker for the fundraiser includes local Craig Burns.
Burns was working in non-profit management in Kelowna when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He now shares his story with others to help break down the stigma and change the future of the disease.
“When people question why diagnoses because I don’t show any signs of it, it reinforces the stereotype that Alzheimer’s disease only affects the elderly,” he said.
“They may be picturing someone in the later stages of the disease. I don’t fit that mold. I help them to see there isn’t a mold.”
Breakfast to Remember will be held on Mar. 10 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at Coast Capri Hotel.