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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Memory Walk

"A good deed is not just a duty, but above all, a privilege."
Shari Arison

On Saturday (20/09/14) my family and I completed the Memory Walk for the Alzheimer's Society at Stormont, Belfast. If you would like to read my pre'walk blog post about why I decided to take part, you can find that here (link). The tl;dr version is we were doing it in support of my granny who is living with Alzheimer's.

Earlier in the week we had received our sponsor packs with our sponsor forms, t-shirts, information and our I'm walking for tags. I got all my donations through my JustGiving page, and I also decided not to use my I'm walking for tag. I was worried because my granny doesn't always know she has Alzheimer's, if she saw the photos and that we were walking for her, it might upset her. The rest of my family followed suit.

The t-shirt I got in my pack.

It was an early start as it had said the walk began at 10am. I dunno if I've mentioned this before, but my family aren't really morning people. We find it hard to get out the door on time at most times of day, but mornings are particularly bad. However, for some reason we outdone ourselves on Saturday and we had ourselves and our dogs ready in a timely fashion. We actually arrived early!

At first we thought we had missed the start of the walk because the place was so empty.

Fortunately we hadn't missed the walk. Unfortunately it was so empty because although it opened at 10am, the actual walk didn't start until 11:30am. Now, usually waiting around for an hour and a half and soaking up all the atmosphere would have been great fun. However we had completely underestimated how our five month old chihuahua puppies would react to all the people, noise and worst of all... other dogs. Berty was bad at first, but eventually mostly calmed down. I mean he started off by peeing on my sister when he got overwhelmed by some kids. He hates kids. They even scared Edwin though, and he loves people. Edwin was a nightmare the whole time we were waiting for the walk to start. He didn't settle at all and continuously barked at every dog he came across. We were so desperate we even bought him a bun to keep him quiet. He rarely gets human food, but we were desperate! As annoying as it was, it just came down to the fact he was completely out of his comfort zone and couldn't handle it. I got really annoyed when I seen some girl call him and Berty little rats. He's just a puppy. Most people were very nice though and a lot of people thought they were adorable.

Some photos of the wait for the walk to start.

As the crowds gathered it was great seeing all the different people doing the walk. I particularly loved seeing all the different dogs, even if they made Edwin the most annoying dog ever! To be fair, he wasn't the only dog barking. I have to say though, it was mostly little dogs living up to their reputation. Even our big Labrador - Baby - wasn't phased by any of it. 

Two of my favourite dogs of the day.
Apart from my own... obvs.

Although we decided to do the walk to support my granny on my dad's side, my granda on my mum's side who we lost to cancer around ten years ago also had dementia. So my mum decided to fill out a tag on the Memory Tree for him.

After the longest hour and a half ever the walk was about to begin, so we all began gathering around the starting line.

And then we set off! This is when Edwin really came into his own. He enjoyed the walk so much and loved following all the people. I started off carrying him because I was worried he might get stood on as it was dense to start with until the people split in to two groups, one doing the 10km and one doing the 2km. We were doing the 2km as the ten wasn't wheelchair accessible. He wasn't happy being carried and wanted down asap to walk.

It got a bit warm and we had to stop to take Edwin's jumper off.
Look how cute he is!

My favourite bit of the walk was through a wooded area. Up until then it had been on a concrete path, but in the wooded area it was rougher terrain. For a walker it wasn't too hard, but bumping along in a wheelchair it was a little more uncomfortable. Then there was slight hilly bits and it was lucky I've gotten into the habit of wearing my seat belt or I'd have slipped from my chair. For some reason the small discomfort this part of the walk gave me made me feel a little better about all the generous donations people had given to sponsor me even though it was only 2km.

We got to the finish line just over half an hour or so after we set off. Although it wasn't long for us, Edwin and Berty were pooped by the end. Berty even panted for the first time! I have to say we got lovely weather for the day and it was quite warm. After we finished we were given a medal each.

Edwin and Berty wearing mine and Eva's medals and Baby wearing my dad's.

We didn't stick around long after the walk finished. It would have been fun to, but we figured it was probably best to get the dogs home. We didn't want a repeat of the morning fiasco with Edwin. After we dropped Edwin, Berty and Baby home, we went and treated ourselves to lunch at Subway and a bit of shopping. We then went to my granny's house to see her and show everyone our medals. We told her about us doing the walk and she said 'Oh, for Alzheimer's? That's for me. Did you think of me when you were doing it?' So it was one of the days she knew she had Alzheimer's and she seemed happy we had done it for her.

Selfie at my granny's. 

That was pretty much the day of the walk. We're talking about doing something again next year, if not for Alzheimer's for something else. It's been a long time since I've done something for Muscular Dystrophy. I always feel a little weird doing things for my own charity, for some reason. Either way, if we do a walk hopefully we'll get the boys a little more used to other dogs, people and noise by then. It was a really great day and I'd really recommend taking part. It's such a worthy cause and almost everyone is touched by Alzheimer's or some form of dementia. If you're interested in taking part in a memory walk you can find information on the nearest one to you here (link).

I mean... who wouldn't want one of these bad boys?


  1. AWW! I've been waiting to hear about your walk and it looked amazing! Edwin and Berty looked so cute in those pictures especially Edwin had his coat taken off. My mum looks after people with Alzheimer's so she loved the idea of the walk. Congrats on getting your medal! You should take the others from your family and bling up your wheelchair with good deeds! ;)

    Dee xx

    1. Thank you. It really was a great day. So glad we took part. Yeah, they're too adorable for their own good. Which is lucky considering how much mischief they get up to. Ah, that's really cool. It's very important work. And thanks. I might just do that! :D


  2. That looks like it was a nice day.
    Your chair looks interesting I have been looking at power chairs a lot lately. Which chair is that and is it good or bad?

    1. Yeah, it was. :)

      It's called a Hippo. I've had it for about 10 years now, so you could say I'm a fan. Lol.

      It can have different functions. Mine only raises up, but they can also have recline function and maybe a stand function, I think. It can also have different backs and cushions, but I just have the basic one that come with it. :)


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