Meet our Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's Richmond honouree: Bryan Springgay
Bryan Springgay lived a life of adventure, climbing ancient ruins and visiting plantations in far-flung places. He and his wife lugged photography equipment to pagoda peaks in Myanmar in time for sunset, toured Guatemala with a toddler in tow and danced on the streets of Trinidad and Tobago at Carnival.
Following her husband’s diagnosis of young onset Alzheimer’s, Laileen Springgay made it her mission to ensure Bryan continues to live the best life possible.
“Sometimes when we’re listening to music, he reaches out to move my arms as though we’re dancing,” Laileen says. “He will light up suddenly and surprise me. He’ll sway to the music and tap his feet. This is quality of life and I treasure it.”
Bryan spent 35 years in the federal government rising through the ranks as a Canadian Foreign Service Officer. He met and married Laileen in New Delhi, India and raised their two children in cities around the world. The international lifestyle gave the Springgays experiences they adored, but prevented them from growing a network in Canada. A few years after moving to Richmond in 2002, Bryan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and they turned to the Alzheimer Society of B.C. for support. They accessed several services, including Richmond’s first session of Minds in Motion®, the Society’s fitness and social program for people living with dementia and their caregivers, where they found an extended family Laileen remains in contact with today.
“You can either take the doom and gloom of the diagnosis, or you can give it a good run, and Bryan did. We did everything we could to stay active and social and it took a while for Alzheimer’s to catch him,” Laileen says. “If someone drops the baton on the relay race, you can grab it and say I’m going to run for you. I’ve decided to take on his baton and run.”
Walk with Bryan at the Richmond and South Delta Investors Group Walk for Alzheimer's on Sunday, May 6. Together, we make memories matter.