We are endlessly grateful to our volunteers for giving their time to better the lives of those impacted by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Our volunteers are truly the heart of the Alzheimer’s Association here in North Carolina.
In honor of National Volunteer Week 2021, we’ll be spotlighting a different volunteer from our Chapter each day. Today we are featuring…
What brought you to volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Association?
My wife, Barbara, (AKA BB!) of 45 years of marriage was diagnosed with younger-onset in 2011 at the age of 62. It rapidly progressed to full blown Alzheimer’s. And she passed away March 2018. When she was diagnosed, I did not know much about the disease but my daughter, Katharine, got on Google and we found the Alzheimer’s Association which was an incredible source of information. We also started going to Memory Care which was a Godsend. And of course, I got involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. It was a very difficult time in our lives as we watched BB slowly decline. I was the caregiver and did the bathing and dressing and makeup. Got pretty damn good at mascara!!! We decided to put BB in a memory unit here in Asheville which was a gut-wrenching decision but the best. She became pretty nonverbal but always managed to say “I love you,” not just to me, but to anyone who walked by!!
What volunteer role(s) do you have with the Association?
I have been involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the past 7 years – formed my team, BB’S Buddies, which has been the top fundraising team for those years. [As part of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Planning Committee] I have been event chair for the Walk for the past 3 years and serve on the board of the Western Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. This year I am the fundraising chair for the 2021 Walk.
What do you enjoy most about your volunteer role?
I would think my role as a board member. We have a wonderful group and Katherine Lambert is a true Rock Star!!
What piece of your role do you feel makes the biggest impact?
I would have to say my fundraising. I have been blown away by the response I get to the point where I raised over $30K one year that is truly amazing for this market.
If someone were considering volunteering with the Association, what would you say to them?
I would give them all the statistics about the disease and implore them to join the fight. The more people we have in this cause will one day bring us to a day without Alzheimer’s. I look forward to the day where there are many white flowers in the Promise Garden!!