Walk for Alzheimer's brings people to University of Regina gym

The Alzheimer’s Society said there are 18,000 people in Saskatchewan with Alzheimer’s or some type of dementia-related disease.

'You never give up trying,' says Beryl Tell, whose husband Jerry has Alzheimer's

Walk for Alzheimer's at the University of Regina gym is a fundraiser for research into the disease. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)

Beryl Tell says about 14 years ago, she noticed her husband Jerry's unusual behaviour. She said he was putting things in the freezer that didn't need to be cold, and getting confused while driving to places he had known for years.

"Those were the things that made me take him to a neurologist," Beryl said.

Jerry was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

The well-known businessman, 83, who excelled at golf and squash, is now living in a care home. A fall, not uncommon for Alzheimer's sufferers, has left him in a wheelchair.

Jerry, with the help of Beryl and son Kevin, took part in Sunday's Walk for Alzheimer's at the University of Regina gym.

It's a fundraiser for research into the disease.

The Alzheimer's Society said there are 18,000 people in Saskatchewan afflicted with Alzheimer's or some type of dementia-related disease. (Dean Gutheil/CBC)
The Alzheimer's Society said there are 18,000 people in Saskatchewan with Alzheimer's or some type of dementia-related disease.

Beryl said Jerry's conversation is limited and he's not the same man she married 57 years ago. But occasionally, she will see flashes of him.

"He still calls me [a] pushy broad. You know all those things. Every once in a while he comes up with something that brings the guy back that I married," she said.

Beryl said she hopes one day soon a cause and cure for Alzheimer's will be found. Even if it may not happen in Jerry's lifetime, she said she's luckier than many. Jerry has great care and the disease hasn't robbed him of his good nature.

"We do have to always remember that guy is still in there. And you keep trying; you keep trying to stir up a memory. You never give up trying," she said.

"And just always make him feel loved."

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