Canadian soccer legend shares family story, champions dementia awareness at Kelowna fundraiser

Bob Lenarduzzi among speakers at inaugural breakfast event

Bob Lenarduzzi, Club Liaison of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, is among speakers at the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s inaugural Breakfast to Remember fundraiser in Kelowna, presented by Valley Mitsubishi. Bob stepped onto the world stage in the ‘70s, propelled by physical determination and strength as an incredible soccer player, but the challenges brought on by two diagnoses of dementia in his family within a short period of time required emotional strength to navigate. The long-time supporter of people living with dementia will talk about how his family was affected by dementia on Tuesday, March 10, from 7-9 a.m. at the Coast Capri Hotel.

Bob’s father-in-law, Denny Veitch, was at the helm of the B.C. Lions in the late 1960s before becoming Vancouver Whitecaps’ general manager in the ‘70s. He died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2012. Shortly before Denny’s death, Bob’s mother Clelia Lenarduzzi, with whom Bob’s wife Deanne Veitch had been very close, was diagnosed with dementia. Clelia died in 2014. 

“Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affects so many families and I have always felt it is important to share my personal experiences to help raise awareness for the disease and the work of the Alzheimer Society of B.C.,” Bob says. 

Because he had seen the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in his father-in-law, Bob knew what to expect during his mother’s journey with dementia. In addition to accepting the diagnoses, Bob knew he needed to understand dementia and take certain actions for his family members.

“Nobody likes to talk about dementia, but we have to,” Bob says. “A lot of families are going through what we went through and while we can’t change the diagnosis, we hope we can change how B.C. families experience the dementia journey.”

Following his powerful talk at Breakfast to Remember in Victoria in 2018, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is pleased to welcome Bob to help kick off the fundraiser in Kelowna. Alongside Bob, guests will hear from Craig Burns, a local advocate for people living with dementia, while networking with local business and community leaders and helping make B.C. a better place for people affected by dementia.

Click here learn more about Breakfast to Remember, presented by Valley Mitsubishi, or to purchase tickets.

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Last Updated: 02/02/2020