Meet our Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's Kelowna honourees: Allan and Bettina Collier
Over 63 years of marriage, Allan and Bettina Collier have been through a lot. They’ve grown up together, raised children and welcomed grandchildren and great-grandchildren into their lives. They’ve also seen Bettina grow ill with cancer – entering remission not once, but twice. By the time Bettina started seeking treatment for short-term memory loss that began following an aggressive round of chemotherapy, the couple already knew how to approach difficult times. They stay positive and remember their love for each other.
“We’re very much in love,” says Allan. “I don’t know what other families are like, but I want to stay right there with her throughout the journey. We do it together. We look forward to each other.”
Their two daughters, six grandchildren and great-grandchildren were relieved when Bettina’s cancer went into remission. They continued to give her as much support as they could while new health concerns emerged. Bettina accepted the help, along with the reality of her memory loss. She chooses to focus on the things she can still enjoy, even when she needs more help to enjoy them.
“We’ve got to live every day to its fullest,” Bettina says. “One day at a time.”
Bettina continues to bake with help from Allan who’s “learned a few tricks” in the kitchen. Allan, after teaching Bettina to drive some 60 years ago, has taken the lead behind the wheel once more. They keep active by walking together and attending Minds in Motion®, the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s fitness and social program. Allan and Bettina have been a tight team since they met in high school in Kamloops and got married at just 17 and 19 years old.
“We’re continuing a journey together and we keep looking at the bright side of life,” Allan says. “That’s all we can do. We’ve never really had a bad moment.”
Walk with Allan and Bettina at the Kelowna Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's on Sunday, May 6. Together, we make memories matter.