Meet our Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's North Shore honouree: Kerri Sutherland
Three weeks into one of Kerri Sutherland’s Shaping the Journey workshops for people experiencing early symptom of dementia, one of the attendees approached her with feedback: “When I leave here,” they said, “I feel so hopeful.”
“If that’s what I can give you when you’re facing your diagnosis, it’s worth it to me,” Kerri says of her long-term involvement in a range of capacities with the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “You have to be hopeful.”
Kerri began her involvement with the Society as a participant in a Family Caregiver support group in 1998 after her father’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The following year she put her fundraising background to use and boosted the proceeds of the North Shore’s Coffee Break® event by 900 per cent as a volunteer. Kerri went on to become a Society employee, working as a Support and Education Coordinator in the North Shore resource centre. She continued her Herculean volunteer feats, including raising more than $20,000 for the Society in 2011 by cycling the Camino de Santiago. Kerri took on the 800-kilometre Spanish course to generate funds through a new physically taxing challenge.
“I did the ride because I felt that my dad had been taken out of his comfort zone by a diagnosis that wasn’t forthcoming,” Kerri says. “I had to think of something that would take me out of my comfort zone, too.”
Kerri’s passion for supporting people affected by dementia has kept her engaged as a volunteer. Though she retired in 2017, she continues to rally participants for the annual Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer’s – where she’s made a name for herself as one of the top fundraisers – and give her time as a support group facilitator on the North Shore.
Walk with Kerri at the North Shore Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's on Sunday, May 6. Together, we make memories matter.