Meet the Nancekivells
Ruth & Bob Nancekivell, and granddaughter Rylee.
When Ruth Nancekivell’s Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2001, her Mom enrolled him in the Volunteer Companion Program at the Alzheimer Society of Oxford and he remained a part of that program as long as he was able to manage it. Ruth says, “In an effort for our family to show our appreciation for this assistance, we decided to participate in the Walk for Memories (as it was named at that time) shortly thereafter. We continued to support the walks after he passed away in March 2008 and have participated right up to this past January 2015. Our Mom was diagnosed with Dementia in 2011, so the recent years have been for her - I think the last year she attended with our family was 2013.”
“We kept coming back to the Walks, as it was something our family could do as a group (even though our numbers dwindled from the beginning) and our Mom enjoyed being with us as long as she was able. Sometimes when your family is in this situation, you think you are the only ones - so it was comforting to see other families who were travelling the same road with their family members and we certainly appreciated all the efforts that go into the planning of this event - as well as the wonderful treats and goodie bags!!”
The 'Lights of Hope' part of the Walk, with candles, is particularly 'special' to Ruth and her family- “even though it can be quite emotional as we reflect on our loved ones and listen to Joanne Does' tape. It is a quiet time for remembering our loved ones’ capabilities and many happy family times when they enjoyed good health. It is a time for quiet and personal reflection on those who are no longer with us.”
Ruth thinks her family actually won the 'group challenge’ the first year they participated, but it was never the reason they participated. Ruth says they are “not a competitive family and any donations made by our family were from our hearts and not in an effort to win anything.”
To encourage others to participate in the Walks, Ruth says, “The time frame is excellent - just a small part of an afternoon (or morning, if in Tillsonburg), with lots of good food and the opportunity to meet with others who are also there for family members and friends who have or had Alzheimer’s or related diseases.”
Thank you so much to Ruth and her family for having attended our Walks for so many years! It’s folks like you whose participation and fund raising efforts help make the difference, year after year.