On the Camino for the Lewy Body Dementia Association

Our First Days on the Camino for the Lewy Body Dementia Association

We have been walking for 4 days and have traveled 49 miles on the Camino de Santiago in Spain trying to raise money for the Lewy Body Dementia Association. The Camino is 500 miles and it will take us approximately 35 days to complete walking from the border of France and Spain, across the top of Spain to Santiago de Compostela. As we walk, we are carrying large posters with information about Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) on the back of our backpacks and I’m amazed and happy at the response we have gotten from people who want to hear about it. When you are walking 500 miles, there is plenty of time to talk to people! There are thousands of people on the same path and we are meeting new people every day from different countries who we can educate about Lewy Body.

Spreading the Word about Lewy Body Dementia

Our very first day in Madrid after we got off the plane, a Spanish woman stopped us on the busy street and asked us about our posters. Next, on our first day of walking we met two women with personal experience with LBD. One of them had an uncle recently died of Lewy Body, and the other woman’s father has Lewy Body and is in the last stages of this terrible disease. In both cases, we cried with these women as we all knew what the other was going through and had been through. During these past four days I think we have talked to more than 50 people about Lewy Body Dementia!

The actual fundraising part of our goal is slow but hopefully it will catch on as we walk. We have cards we give to people who want more information about the disease and a link to donate if they would like. (There is also a link to the right of this post. In case you are wondering, 100% of donations (minus a small processing fee from CrowdRise) goes to the Lewy Body Dementia Association. So although the donation aspect of our effort is slow, our goal of creating awareness is going very well. When my Dad first got sick, it was extremely frustrating not knowing what was going on and his doctors not knowing enough to diagnose LBD. We feel the more people who know the symptoms, the better the care for their loved ones.

Beginning the Camino for LBDA.org

Beginning the Camino for LBDA.org

A Little Historical Information about Caminos

Here’s a little information about the walk we are doing…it’s an ancient pilgrimage for early Christians and there are numerous long paths across Europe all leading to Santiago de Compostela. These days there are many reasons why people walk Caminos, from wanting to get a deeper meaning from their religion to wanting to make new friends from around the world.

We are on the route of St. James, which is the most popular for walkers because there are numerous villages along the way to spend the night rather than in the open air. We stay in refugios, which are big dorm buildings with bunk beds for dozens of walkers. We stayed in one the other night that puts up 140 walkers for $10 each. There’s a lot of snoring but the comradery makes up for it. It is important to know that we are funding our own way out of our savings, so all donations go to LBDA.org.

Walking Over the Pyrenees

Walking Over the Pyrenees

I Feel I Must Do this for Dad

As of today we have walked 49 miles over the Pyrenees Mountains from France into Spain. The first two days were exhausting but the scenery was awesome. As I was making my way down the extremely steep mountain to our refugio for the night, the path was extremely steep my feet and legs were killing me. I was complaining to my husband, Bob, and then I thought about how difficult it was for my Dad to continue his daily walks, which he loved so much and he did until he broke his hip and died. There is no comparison in hiking a difficult hike or even doing a 500-mile hike, to the difficulty of living with Lewy Body Dementia every single day for the rest of ones’ life.

We are just at the very beginning of this long journey. Please continue to look at this blog for updates on our progress both on the walk and our fundraising efforts. Thank you!

Walking for LBDA.org

Walking for LBDA.org

 

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