By Gillian Slade on January 9, 2018.
A local resident has been selected for a national awareness campaign.
Roger Marple, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a couple years ago at the age of 57, was chosen by the Alzheimer Society of Canada and is now being interviewed by national media.
“It’s all about getting a good message out there,” said Marple.
After his diagnosis, Marple decided to be interviewed by the News for a story and have his photo published.
“I started to see the ripple effect, and you couldn’t shut me up,” said Marple.
After Marple was diagnosed, he did a Google search and found it all so depressing until he finally found someone who had been diagnosed and had a message of hope.
“There’s a lot of people that live well with dementia, and that to me is inspiring,” said Marple.
As long as there is stigma attached to the disease people will be afraid to speak openly about the challenges they face, he said.
“Stigma is a pet hate of mine. The more stigma I see, the more defiant I feel,” said Marple.
After withdrawing from the workforce he felt a little disheartened but then decided to get involved and speak up about dementia and make it a mission to reduce stigma.
“It’s been an adventure and just keeps getting better and better,” said Marple.
He now serves on the “Quality of Life” panel for Alzheimer’s Canada and will shortly be heading to Toronto to review requests for research funding. He also serves on the advisory board for Alzheimer’s Canada, is actively involved with the local chapter of the Alberta Alzheimer’s Society, and has done a presentation to local medical personnel helping them gain an understanding of issues from the dementia patient’s point of view.
Living life to the full is a big part of living well with dementia. Marple says his “happy ever after is now.”
“I feel really upbeat,” said Marple.
You can see Marple featured on the Alzheimer Canada website at http://www.ilivewithdementia.ca