Harvell family invites community to annual Alzheimer’s Walk in Carson

By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: September 29, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.

CARSON – If you live anywhere in Central Virginia, there is an awesome upcoming opportunity to spend a beautiful autumn day having fun outdoors, while contributing to a great cause, and helping our friends and neighbors in need at the same time.

Shades of Memories of Dinwiddie is conducting their third annual Walk for Alzheimer’s, raising awareness and funds for dementia and Alzheimer’s care, support, and research. This year’s walk will be held on Saturday, October 5, from noon to 5 p.m. The opening ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. The walk and all associated activities will be held at the Harvell Ball Field, 17205 Shady Lane, Carson 23830.

Raising awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia; the progression; and available resources for all of those affected, to include family members and loved ones; is personal for Mildred Harvell-Woodhouse. Mildred was joined by many family members, community residents, and friends, in the first Shades of Memories Walk two-years ago. The inaugural walk was planned in honor of Mildred’s Mother, Nola Shands Harvell, who unfortunately passed away just prior to the first event. Nola Shands Harvell was a pillar of her community in Carson, and was so loved by family and friends. For many other participants in the Shades of Memories Walk each year, the event is also in honor or memory of their loved ones, both living and deceased, that have been affected by Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is a condition that causes a severe impact on the lives of those diagnosed, as well as the lives of family members and friends. The misconceptions surrounding the disease can cause the impact to be even more severe. While this disease is more recognized today than ever before, the many misconceptions surrounding Alzheimer’s still persist, and are due to lack of public common knowledge. By learning more about Alzheimer’s, we can help create awareness, and spread knowledge about both Alzheimer’s and other dementias. There are numerous resources for those with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, and for caregivers.

Sandy Bennett and Mildred Woodhouse couldn’t help but smile as they honor their mother and grandmother Nola Harvell during last year’s walk, which is only a short walk from her home behind the Harvell Ball Field. (Michael Campbell)

“Please join our team,” remarked Mildred Woodhouse, Founder of the Shades of Memories Alzheimer’s Walk. “Together, we can learn more about Alzheimer’s, as well as raise awareness and funds to combat this disease that is affecting so many of our loved ones. We look forward to you joining us. Please spread the news. The color for the day is purple, but feel free for you, or your team if you have one, to go with your own favorite color.”

The event carries special meaning for Woodhouse as she became a caregiver to her mother, a story she shared two years ago as she prepared for the first walk in honor of her mom.

“My mom became my toddler,” she said. “As toddlers get into stuff, so did she. It was a tough journey but the help of family and friends made the voyage much easier.”

“My mother left me with good memories and big laughs,” Woodhouse shared. “I had to figure out ways to laugh rather than cry at some of the things that ‘loss of memory’ can cause you to do and say. Great memories are what helps me as I think of her daily. We played ball inside the house, ate strawberry ice cream cones, which were her favorite, and we laughed a lot together.”

She added the gravity of Alzheimer’s can be lost on those who haven’t had to care for someone with the disease or know someone with a form of dementia, but when that tragic diagnosis is made, its effects of people’s lives can be transformative.

“When it hits your household, affecting your sister, brother or sister, wife or husband, mom or dad, that is when reality really kicks in and people realize it can happen to anyone,” she said. “Everyone who has a brain is at risk to develop Alzheimer’s.”

Individual residents from all over Central Virginia, clubs, teams, civic groups, government officials, sororities, fraternities, Scouts, all are welcome. The more the merrier. For additional Information on the Shades of Memories Walk for Alzheimer’s, please contact Mildred Woodhouse by telephone at (301) 661-4605, or by email at mildredwoodhouse@gmail.com.

The Alzheimer’s Association, Greater Richmond Chapter, is a tremendous resource for individuals in need of help or information. It was established in 1981. Its mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias through the promotion of brain health. In Virginia, 140,000 individuals living with Alzheimer’s, including 26,000 in the 24 counties and five cities served by the Greater Richmond Chapter.

The chapter serves persons with any dementia disease, not just individuals with Alzheimer’s, and one hundred percent of their care and support services are offered free-of-charge. Last year, the Greater Richmond Chapter assisted more than 6,000 individuals, and answered over 2,100 Helpline calls from individuals seeking information and resources, tips for caregiving, or those just needing someone to listen.

For more information about the Alzheimer’s Association or support programs in your area, telephone (804) 967-2547 or (804) 967-2580, or check them out online at https://www.alz.org/grva.

Copyright 2019 by Womack Publishing
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