Friend with dementia inspires runs

York Region
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Vikash Jain is running 100K in May to raise funds for programs and services for York Region residents impacted by dementia. He will be running for his friend, John, living with dementia and John's wife, Mary, and for other people impacted by this fatal disease.

Vikash Jain and his son Ami running on a gravel pathway surrounded by trees

Vikash and Ami will be each running 100K in May for the #IGWalkforAlz.

This story was first published on NewmarketToday.ca with permission to repost here.

When Vikash Jain, a certified financial planner for IG Wealth Management’s Newmarket office runs 100 kilometres in May, he will be doing so for his friends, John, living with dementia, John’s wife Mary, and every other person impacted by dementia.

For the third year in a row, Jain will be participating in the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s, which raises funds to support programs and services for the Alzheimer Society of York Region, which provides programs and services to people impacted by dementia.

"When we met them 20 years ago, Mary and John were retired lawyers but busier than ever. They were stealth gardeners, planting flowers around the neighbourhood; activists, organizing the community to protest a government plan to cut all the trees; and they were wonderful friends, generous, hospitable, and fun to talk to,” Jain said.

A few years ago, John started forgetting things. He eventually stopped recognizing his friends and today, he doesn’t know his family.

“Mary has been incredible, supporting John through all this with a smile. But the toll is evident. I appreciate that local Alzheimer’s societies help people in Mary’s position, and that’s why we’re running.”

This year, people are encouraged to walk or run 17,000 steps – one step for every York Region resident impacted by dementia – throughout the month of May, reaching their final step count by May 28.

This year, like last, Jain will run 100 kilometres, five kilometres almost every morning. Sometimes his son, Ami, will join him, but as Ami is a sprinter, he tends to run a shorter distance at a faster pace. Last year, the father-and-son team finished their final run together.

Jain said he and his boys have always been active. He and his older son, Surya, would practice Taekwondo several times a week. When COVID-19 caused classes to be cancelled, Jain took up running and his sons joined him. A few weeks later, he heard about the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to commit himself to running, while raising money for an important cause.

He chose 100 kilometres as his goal.

“One hundred kilometres is a good stretch target, and we hope it will inspire donors to stretch their donations, too.”

Last year, Jain raised $2,700 and this year hopes to raise $3,000.

“Canada is getting older. Alzheimer’s is going to affect more and more of us. We’ll need all the help we can get from local societies.”

Visit https://bit.ly/Vikash2022 to sponsor Jain’s team.

Visit https://bit.ly/ASYorkWalk2022 to register a team or as an individual. People who raise more than $500 will receive a copy of Hearts Linked by Courage Honouring Loved Ones and Caregivers on the Dementia Journey book.

Lisa Day is a freelance writer, editor and communications specialist. She writes two book blogs: Book Time and a travel-inspired blog for followsummer.com

Register for the #IGWalkforAlz taking place virtual this May.

Register - IG Walk for Alzheimer's 2022

Registration is now open for the virtual IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer's. This May, walk 17,000 steps - one step for every York Region resident impacted by dementia. Raise funds to support programs and services for people impacted by this fatal disease.

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Six photos of the 2021 participants of the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzhiemer's.

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A collage of photos of people who have shared their story with AS York.