Everyone is invited to take part in this year’s Climb for Alzheimer’s. (submitted)

Cowichan residents can Climb for Alzheimer’s in their own backyard

for the first time ever, open to anyone, anywhere in the province

Each September for the past eight years, committed individuals and teams have climbed North Vancouver’s Grouse Grind as part of the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s annual fundraiser, the Climb for Alzheimer’s. Things look different in 2020, and the Society announced in August that the Climb for Alzheimer’s is still going ahead in a virtual capacity, and for the first time ever, will be open to anyone, anywhere in the province.

The Society is inviting Cowichan Valley residents to come together to hike a total of 70,000 kilometres — one kilometre for each individual living with dementia in B.C. — to raise funds and show people on the dementia journey that they are not alone. This year’s event will include hikes across B.C. — from Mount Douglas in Victoria to the Summit Peak Trail in Fort Nelson and including a hike at the Valley’s own Kinsol Trestle.

The event runs until Monday, Sept. 21, which is World Alzheimer’s Day.

“Although the location has changed and adapted, the heart of the event remains,” says Maria Howard, Alzheimer Society of B.C. chief executive officer. “The Climb continues to be a challenging, fun, invigorating event that makes a real difference to people in our province affected by dementia. It shows people living with dementia that they are not alone.”

In a time where travel restrictions are the norm, this challenge also offers an opportunity to take advantage of the province’s endless trails, natural beauty and potential for adventure, while raising money and awareness for the thousands of people living with dementia. Participants can register as individuals or as a team and are encouraged to share their hiking and climbing challenges online, which will help to galvanize the community spirit and energy that makes the event so special.

Participants will be raising money for research and to ensure people affected by dementia can access programs and services through the Society’s First Link dementia support, which provides support and education for people who are affected by dementia. This programming is crucially important for British Columbian families to feel connected and supported during these unusual times.

If you are planning a hike, please adhere to the current physical distancing recommendations. The Society highly recommends that you check the BC Parks website or another online resource before you leave for your outdoor adventure as some trails may be closed or adapted.

For more information about the Climb for Alzheimer’s, visit climbforalzheimers.ca.

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