Two local police officers, Lisa Heiberg and Doug Spencer, will be joining the Ascent for Alzheimer’s 2015 Team to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa in support of Alzheimer’s research, education, and community outreach.
The hike has a special significance for them as Doug’s dad, Gord Spencer, died last year after a grueling and hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Gord Spencer was the second of four generations of police officers in the Spencer family.
Up until he began experiencing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Gord was a strong, sociable, and active member of the community. Within three years, the disease had devastating effects as he lost his ability to communicate with and often could no longer recognize his family members.
“Dad was a proud, long-serving member of the Vancouver Police Department. He was a social butterfly, an avid golfer and was deeply devoted to his family. When he was first diagnosed, one of Dad’s biggest fears was losing his memories of his loved ones. As his disease progressed, Dad experienced profound sadness, fear, confusion and anxiety. He lost his ability to communicate. What buoyed his spirits was the never-ending care and companionship of his wife, and the comforting presence of his family.”
Their hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro will be symbolic of the hardship and struggle of those living with the Alzheimer’s, as well as for those who care for them.
To participate in the ascent, each climber must raise $10,000 and pay their own travel and equipment expenses.
Doug and Lisa are currently engaged in a number of fundraising initiatives to raise at least $20,000 prior to their trip.
If you would like to donate to Lisa and Doug, you can do so here .
If you would like to participate in Doug and Lisa’s golf tournament at Tsawwassen Springs golf course on June 27th, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org