In 2011, M2M Athlete Lauren Kratzer’s dad, Peter, was diagnosed with a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease. Running her first marathon as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society of BC, Lauren is now part of the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s Vancouver Organizing Committee and continues to run to honour and celebrate people affected by dementia. Read more about Lauren’s touching story below and how you too can support this great cause.
Can you tell us a little about The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s and how it helps the Alzheimer Society of B.C?
- The IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s is the Alzheimer Society of BC’s flagship fundraising event of the year. This year, the walk will be held virtually throughout the month of May, before joining together online for a virtual celebration on May 30th. Participants are encouraged to walk their own way – or run their own way! – anytime before May 30th.
- Together, we can support people affected by dementia during these unprecedented times and ensure that social distancing does not result in social isolation. While we may not be able to be together in person, we can still connect to honour and celebrate people affected by dementia. The Walk raises funds to help ensure that British Columbians affected by dementia have access to support, education and information so they can live their best lives possible. As well as supporting people living with dementia and their families, donations will enable research into the causes of and cure for the disease.
You are part of the Vancouver Organizing Committee: How did you become involved in this and why is it a cause dear to your heart?
- My Dad, Peter, was diagnosed with a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease, Posterior Cortical Atrophy, in 2011. He faced his diagnosis with great courage and somehow, some sense of humor, but the disease accelerated quickly. I ran my first marathon, the Vancouver marathon, as a fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society of BC with the incredible support of my friends and family. The marathon was a race I had eyed for a few years with both fear and wonder. It became increasingly important to me to run the marathon while my Dad was still able to watch and cheer on, as he had for so many half marathons and sporting events before. More importantly, we wanted to show our support for Dad. From 21km onward, I vowed to never run another marathon ever again, but his hug at the finish line made every single step worth it. The experience and day were some of my last great memories with Dad. We lost him in April of last year.
- I joined the Vancouver planning committee in December of 2020. Involving myself with the Alzheimer Society of BC again is a way to feel connected to Dad and support the many other individuals and families that are facing this disease. I have now run 4 more marathons, training with Mile2Marathon leading up to Berlin 2019, and not a day or run goes by that I don’t think of Dad. I thank running as one way to stay connected to his memory and his booming laugh.
How can people sign-up and what’s involved?
- Participants can sign up to walk or run their own way, as a team or individual, via the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s website. I know for most Mile2marathon runners, running is about more than the miles. I would be humbled and moved if anyone from this amazing community dedicates a run and donation to this event. Distance and speed are irrelevant – the goal is to simply make memories matter. Also, donations are of course warmly welcome to my team, Peter’s Caddies, which includes my sister, my mom, and myself. Any support of any size quite simply means the world.
Where can people participate and donate to supporting such a great cause?