By Hailey Thomassen
In 2007, Victoria’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It wasn’t until a few years later that she came across a local PBS station airing a program about Alzheimer’s disease that Victoria decided she needed support. She contacted the Alzheimer’s Association Western & Central Washington Chapter through the 24/7 Helpline and was connected to a Connections program Care Consultant who offered 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. See Victoria lead a Zumba class with a group of women in their 90’s.
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 programs. “My consultant aided me in coping with emotional issues from every level. 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” says Victoria and through The Longest Day she found the perfect opportunity to do what she loves to give back.
The Longest Day raises funds to fuel the the Alzheimer’s Association’s care, support and research that help people like Victoria every day. Held on then longest day of the year, June 21, 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 will be hosting an all-day Zumbathon. They have received a tremendous amount of support from those who have been touched by Alzheimer’s. Victoria knows that there is currently no way to fix the situations of those living with Alzheimer’s disease, but says “by supporting this passion doing what we love best …dancing our Zumba off, we hope to help.” With four different venues, the team encourages you to sign up for their inaugural year of The Longest Day Zumbathon and dance your Zumba off!
Whether it is dancing, running or a Zumba, you can celebrate caregivers by gathering a group of friends, coworkers and family to start a Longest Day team.