Meet Linda Vandevyvere
Linda Vandevyvere doesn’t like asking people for money. But she puts her discomfort aside each year to fundraise for the Walk for Alzheimer’s because it’s a cause that means a lot to her.
Linda is an institution at the Tillsonburg Walk for Alzheimer’s. She’s been fundraising and participating for decades, ever since the town has been hosting one. Each year she turns to her church and the local Lion’s Club, where regular donors are always willing to lend a hand.
On the day of the Walk for Alzheimer’s, Linda is there from beginning to end, helping with set up and take down on top of participating. She always has a good time.
“It’s nice to see everybody out and it’s nice to see the total keep growing as the morning progresses,” she says. “It’s just kind of a fun morning on a cold and dreary January day.”
Linda is also involved as a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford. She participates in the Volunteer Companion program, which pairs a volunteer with a person in the community who has Alzheimer’s or dementia. Linda has had three matches over the past five years, and is going to be paired with another person soon.
She enjoys going out with her matches and finding activities that they enjoy. She also knows how much it can mean to caregivers to have a short break every week.
Linda’s mom, Irene, had Alzheimer’s before she died in 2001. While Linda was working full-time as a nurse while her mom was sick, she was still heavily involved in her care.
After her mom’s diagnosis, Linda attended Alzheimer Society programs and read information they provided to learn more about the disease. She thinks people who aren’t familiar with the Alzheimer Society would be surprised by how much the organization does.
“It’s there for you, and if you need it call - just call. You’ll get the help you need.”
Linda says she finds volunteering and fundraising for the Alzheimer Society rewarding. But she’s also motivated by helping support Alzheimer’s and dementia research.
“We need to find out what we can to get on top of the disease and hopefully find a cure sometime, and in the meantime, support the people who need it.”