by Hailey Thomassen
In 2007, Victoria’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Victoria knew to contact the Alzheimer’s Association through the 24/7 Helpline and was connected to the Connections Care Consultant program which offers resources and suggestions on how to ease the burden and stress of being a caregiver.
After four years of caring for her mother, Victoria found Zumba as an outlet for her stress. She leads a variety of Zumba® classes from chair Zumba® to low impact Zumba®. People of all ages, including those living with dementia, frequently attend her classes and Victoria is able to communicate and engage people of all abilities on a whole new level.
Because of her experience as a caregiver Victoria wanted to find a way to ensure that more people like her could be helped by the Alzheimer’s Association’s. “My consultant aided me in coping with emotional issues from every level” says Victoria, “because of her invaluable sense of understanding, mediation and resolve I decided to do whatever I can to ensure the one-on-one Care Consultant program may continue”. Through The Longest Day she found the perfect opportunity to do what she loves to give back to programs that helped her.
The Longest Day raises funds to fuel care, support and research that help people like Victoria every day. Held on the longest day of the year, June 20, thousands of people across the globe unite in a sunrise-to sunset event to honor the strength, passion and endurance of those facing Alzheimer’s disease.
Victoria’s team, Dance With Us, hosted four Zumbathon® events in the spirit of The Longest Day in 2015. They received a tremendous amount of support from those who have been touched by Alzheimer’s. Victoria knows that there is no way to entirely relieve the burden and stress of caregiving but says “by supporting this passion doing what we love best …dancing our Zumba® off, we hope to help.”
This year’s Zumbathon® will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the Seattle Filipino Community Center on 3001 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Pre-registration for the event is required and tickets are on sale now!
Whether it is dancing, running, gardening, cooking, or a Zumbathon, you can celebrate those facing the disease by gathering a group of friends, coworkers and family members to start a Longest Day team by registering here.