Richmond Hill resident Bruce Rhodes will be walking 17,000 steps Saturday, May 29 during the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.
Each step represents every York Region resident living with dementia. He will also be remembering his wife, Liz Maynes, who died two years ago after a nine-year battle with dementia. Liz was 61.
“Sadly, so many people, so many families, are touched by dementia,” Rhodes said. “Unfortunately, it’s a disease that casts a very wide net.”
Liz was an associate professor of corporate finance at York University’s Schulich School of Business and co-authored five editions of a finance textbook. She was diagnosed with behaviour-variant frontotemporal dementia (FTD), where nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes shrink, causing behavioural, personality, language and movement changes, in 2013. Liz was having trouble understanding reality, behaved like a child and couldn’t remember words.
“She had to look up the meanings of them. It was heartbreaking.”
For David, the couple’s only child, his entire high school and post-secondary school career was shadowed by his mom’s illness. It has taken him the two years since her passing to “reflect on her and her illness without feeling overwhelmed.”
Bruce and David Rhodes are the Alzheimer Society of York Region’s Honorary Family for the virtual #IGWalkforAlz . They are helping raise funds to support York Region residents impacted by dementia.
People are encouraged to register and begin raising funds to support programs and services. All money raised in York Region stays in York Region. Learn more: https://alzheimer.ca/york/en/
Lisa Day, communications and fund development coordinator with the Alzheimer Society of York Region.