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One Bracelet At A Time

April 25, 2014

By Editor
On the surface, there may not be much that connects Alzheimer’s and other dementias with youth. Alzheimer’s disease is commonly associated with an older population – only rarely affecting the younger generation. Dig a little deeper into your community though and you will find that there is in fact, a lot more connecting Alzheimer’s and dementia with a younger population than meets the eye.
 
This year’s Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex  (ASLM) “Walk for Memories” Honouree Family features Alysha Wisniewski, an 11 year old from South London profoundly affected by Alzheimer’s disease. She is a great example of a young person bridging the gap between generations.
 
Alysha was hit hard when her aunt Roz was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago. Stung by the changes she was seeing in her aunt, she wanted to raise “…just 5 dollars to show I cared”. By making and selling handcrafted jewelry, Alysha’s goal was not to support her aunt directly, but to donate to the Alzheimer Society to assist in the funding of their programs and services.
 
Those affected by dementia, like Alysha’s aunt, experience a profound change in various capabilities, particularly communication.  Alysha has become a voice in that void; when you receive a bracelet from Alysha, your purchase also prompts her to help you understand why she’s embarked on this journey.
 
As the part of the Honouree Family at this year’s Walk for Memories, Alysha leads by example with her proactive attitude, and her commitment to a cause she believes in. By joining in the Walk for Memories (Saturday May 10), you too can be proactive – not only about the cause, but also about your health. When you participate, you’re not only supporting the Alzheimer Society and its work in London and  Middlesex, you’re also engaging in one of the keys to a brain-healthy lifestyle by getting some exercise on the 4k Walk. Studies show that regular exercise can reduce stress, boost your mood, improve your memory and increase energy – in addition to helping reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementias.
 
Alysha dedication is remarkable; through 4 years of commitment she’s raised nearly four thousand dollars through the sale of her handcrafted jewelry, all of it directed to ASLM. When most of her bracelets sell for only one dollar, well that’s a lot of bracelets!
 
Alysha’s dedication to this cause began as a way to support her aunt, but has now blossomed as she’s made connections to other Alzheimer Society clients. As a result she’s become increasingly passionate about the dementia journey.
Alysha leads by example not only as a young philanthropist, but also as a community liaison as she connects the dementia cause to the community. She is spreading the word across London and Middlesex county one bracelet at a time. Her voice is truly a beacon that shines with and on behalf of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.