Salmon Arm  

You'd never guess Peter Gook has Alzheimer's - and that's the point

Alzheimer's? Who, me?

Peter Gook says he was shocked to learn he has Alzheimer’s disease.

And you'd never guess it if you saw him out running in Salmon Arm.

“You have this idea of what someone with Alzheimer’s is like – and when it happens to you, it’s totally different,” he says of his diagnosis.

Gook and Susan Martin are the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s honourees in the North Okanagan this year.

The Salmon Arm couple can regularly be seen out running, and Gook often competes in 10K races.

The diagnosis is a fact the self-reliant man who still loves his work life struggles to accept.

“I was absolutely shocked,” says Peter.

A locksmith by trade, he didn’t want stigma surrounding the disease to jeopardize his business so is sharing his diagnosis with the community.

The couple hope to bring more visibility to dementia, and to motivate people who may be struggling with their diagnosis to reach out for support.

The commonly held notion that someone living with dementia is no longer capable of doing all the things they did before is what motivated Peter and Susan to seek out Alzheimer Society of B.C. resources in Vernon.

“We have such an opportunity to make people aware and have a positive impact,” says Susan. “People need to know. We need to know what we can do to slow it down or to one day stop it because it’s affecting so many people.”

The Alzheimer Society of B.C. encourages residents to show support by registering and fundraising for the walk.

Participants are encouraged to walk their own way throughout May, before joining together for an online celebration on May 30.

Funds raised help support the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s programs and services.

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