Albert DesRosier honouree for Barriere Alzheimer’s Walk For Memories on May 6

The 2018 Walk for Alzheimer’s will be held on May 6, at the Senior’s Hall in Barriere. Registration starts at 10 a.m. and the Walk starts at 11 a.m., with a light lunch to follow.

You will see our volunteers at AG Foods over the next few weeks selling raffle tickets. We have some great prizes this year, so be sure to get yours.

This year, our honouree is Barriere resident Albert DesRosier.

On April 5, 1958 the country watched on live TV as a planned explosion blasted Ripple Rock from the Discovery Passage, and not too far away, a young couple was experiencing their own historic moment. Shortly after the explosion, Albert and Doreen DesRosier got married and started their lives together.

The DesRosiers have been married for 60 years, have spent 25 years sailing off the coast of Vancouver Island, plus wintering in Arizona and raising three children on their ranch together.

“We’ve had our ups and downs but I’ve never walked away from it,” says Doreen, now the primary caregiver for Albert, who lives with dementia. “I’ve always stuck with him. We always swore when we got married that our children were going to have a mom and dad for life.”

The DesRosiers’ promise came after a difficult adolescence for Doreen and three years in an orphanage for Albert while his father was serving in the Second World War.

After Albert’s early career as a proud surveyor in Sayward, and later along the highways between Kamloops and Blue River, the couple moved to Heffley Creek to raise their children.

They lived, worked, curled and supported the Fall Fair in the area for 50 years.

In the spring of 2017, the DesRosiers moved to Barriere for easier access to health-care services.

When Albert, whom Doreen describes as a loving, caring man, was first diagnosed, Doreen felt frustrated and lonely. She has since attended information sessions through the Alzheimer Society of B.C. and urges other caregivers to do the same.

The couple now enjoy their time reminiscing over old photo albums and visiting the local seniors’ centre two days each week. One day Doreen spends volunteering and the other, Albert and Doreen spend together, enjoying the music that’s played at the centre.

“Albert and I used to do a lot of dancing,” said Doreen, “He’ll still get up and dance with me – we’re the only ones.”

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