Al McDonald goes to dozens of events and speaking engagements as the Mayor of North Bay.
Today he joined staff from the Nipissing District Alzheimer Society to proclaim January as Alzheimer Awareness Month.
But this announcement hits close to home with the Mayor.
About 14 years ago Al McDonald lost his grandfather to the disease.
“We lost a loved one and we knew at the end of the day, we knew that we loved him greatly but he didn’t know who we were and we knew that he loved us but didn’t know who we were, so you are taking away something that we all cherish and that’s to feel part of a close knit family.
"It is a terrible disease, there is no answer or cure to it today,” admitted McDonald candidly about the disease.
“Providing a proclamation to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s, declaring it Alzheimer’s month in January, is a small way for all citizens to really bring awareness to this and to raise the funds to allow the researchers to find cures and to assist the caregivers that are going through this process.”
Greg Godin, Chair of the Board of Directors for Nipissing-Sudbury-Manitoulin Alzheimer Society says awareness is a key.
“We want people to know that it is a serious disease, it is terminal in most cases, and just get the awareness out there that we do need help with the disease and on the national and provincial level to have our governments provide us with additional help and financial resources to cure this disease eventually and particularly for research as we need more funds for research,” said Godin.
Society officials say there are a number of key services related to patient care within the city including an Art program and a Living well with Dementia program.
The art program brings patients together in a social setting while the Living Well program helps businesses to understand how to deal with customers who are suffering from the disease and how they should handle them.