Forget-Me-Not Award 2019
At the 5th Annual Night to Remember gala the Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce announced the winners of the inaugural Forget-Me-Not Award: Rachel Broderick, Elizabeth and Donald (Mac) Morison. This new award recognizes contributions from local people and groups who have demonstrated leadership by advancing the cause and care of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias in Grey and Bruce County. After receiving a number of great applications, a committee selected the winners who have excelled in areas such as providing care, raising awareness, and increasing public acceptance of dementia.
When she was just a teenager Broderick lost her mother, Chantel, to young onset Alzheimer’s disease. Chantel founded the Alzheimer Society of Dufferin County and helped develop resources that would later be used by her own family when she developed the disease in her forties. In the years since her mother’s passing Rachael has shared her story across Ontario and Canada helping people to understand the realities of living with Dementia. She wants people to know they are not alone. In addition to her advocacy work, Broderick was the top fundraiser at the 2017 IG Walk for Alzheimer’s in Owen Sound. She continues to pursue this cause even in her career working at a nursing home and going to school to become a nurse.
The Morisons connected with the Alzheimer Society after Mac received his diagnosis of dementia. In 2013, after finishing one of the organization’s 8-week education courses, they felt they needed something more. They petitioned the Society to start a new program that happened on a regularly scheduled and constant basis instead of ending. This new program evolved into the Owen Sound memory café that has been running biweekly ever since.
The program is so successful that it the organization has replicated it in three additional communities, with a fourth on the horizon. The Morissons never shied away from a chance to promote their cause. They appeared on several TV and Radio shows speaking about their experience of living with Dementia and being a Caregiver at a time when many are still fearful to acknowledge their diagnosis in public. Unfortunately, in February of this year Mac passed away. His inspiring example of living well with Dementia will not be forgotten.