Did you know Valerie Egan?
If you grew up in Victoria, you or someone you know almost certainly did. She was a teacher. A Vice Principal too. She worked at Vic High, Mount Doug, Oak Bay High, Reynolds, Cedar Hill, and Central during her long career.
She was the sort of teacher you would remember. One with a passion for athletics. She taught gym class, coached girls’ volleyball, and never met a sport she wouldn’t try. (Even windsurfing, tap dancing, and hot air ballooning, just to name a few.)
But whether you knew her or not, it’s the rest of Valerie’s story that you should know…the parts that aren’t so easy to talk about.
Valerie was one of the growing number of Canadian seniors diagnosed with dementia. Hers was a rare form called Progressive Non-Fluent Aphasia (PFNA). Over the last few years of her life, it robbed her of her ability to speak, read, and write.
Imagine losing your memories and the ability to communicate with family and friends. Or worse, watching someone you love slowly decline with the disease. This was the reality Valerie’s family found themselves in. When Valerie was suffering, even with something as simple as a headache, she had no way to ask her family for help.
Of course you already know how the story ends. There is no cure for dementia. But life is about the journey. Fortunately, donations to Eldercare from people like you made that journey a lot more comfortable.
Click here to read a letter that Eldercare received from Valerie’s family several months ago. It’s about her experiences in the Summit long-term care home. You’ll see how the Eldercare programs that donors make possible touched her life and made it better. (We’ve highlighted and added notes so you know all the ways donations to Eldercare made a difference.)