Mission for Memories

If each of us is the star of the movie of our lives then Alzheimer’s disease is like a fire in a film vault. For those with Alzheimer’s or related dementias, the rich tapestry of memory and history a lifetime has created is lost, bit by bit, day by day.

Those losses are difficult for the people whose memories are disappearing, and also for the people who know and love them.

The new Alzheimer’s disease Mission for Memories: Taking Action Today for a Better Tomorrow 2009 calendar, available for download free at www.MissionForMemories.ca, helps people to deal with these losses while featuring some of Canada’s most heart-warming memories.

The computer desktop calendar, brought to you by one of Canada’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies, features a selection of 12 special memories and stories submitted by Canadians from coast-to-coast. These hopeful, emotional and inspiring stories showcase the determination and courage of those facing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

These stories are part of a useful interactive calendar, which, among other great features, tracks important dates and appointments in one convenient place. Ideal for caregivers and family members caring for loved ones, the calendar is easily downloaded onto one’s computer desktop.

Along with the 12 selected memories, each month the calendar features:

* Tip of the Month – tips from doctors, patient groups and other organizations on how to better cope with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

* Living Healthy – tips on how to stay mentally and physically healthy all year long

* Health Journal – lets you keep track of your (or your loved one’s) personal health record and any medical symptoms that occur

“A Father’s Privilege”

Below is one of the heart-warming memories profiled in the 2009 Mission for Memories calendar:

In January of 1981 I packed up to move from Winnipeg to Thompson, Manitoba , a mining town about 500 miles north. Driving north in the dead of winter for the first time is a daunting prospect, and my father offered to accompany me. The trip was pleasant until the last stage, when ice got into the gas line and we white-knuckled it into town. The next day we did some sightseeing and in the evening I brought him to the airport for his return trip home. I thanked him for coming. His response was “It’s a father’s privilege.” This brought tears to my eyes, and still does 27 years later. Dad is now battling ill health and dementia, but to me that one little sentence still sums up his place in my life. Now it’s my turn to say, “Dad, it’s a daughter’s privilege to be a part of your life in any way I can.”

Mission for Memories

Mission for Memories was launched by one of Canada’s leading research-based pharmaceutical companies in 2006 in recognition of the 100 th anniversary of the identification of Alzheimer’s disease by Dr. Alois Alzheimer. The national awareness initiative aimed to help Canadians learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of early diagnosis.

Dr. Roberta Bondar, Canada’s first woman in space and the world’s first neurologist astronaut, helped to launch the mission in 2006. Dr. Bondar chose to become involved in Mission for Memories as she believes in the value of increasing public awareness of the disease, its symptoms and the supports available to help families cope.

In stage one of the mission Dr. Bondar teamed-up with some of the country’s top physicians and researchers at public forums held in cities across Canada during 2006 and 2007. The response was exceptional as many came to hear her speak and to learn more about the disease.

For the mission’s second phase, Dr. Bondar called on Canadians to preserve the memories of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease by sharing those memories through a new computer desktop calendar.

Visit www.MissionForMemories.ca today to download the 2009 calendar free of charge and share in the special memories of Canadians all year long.