VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – People in 24 cities and towns across BC will take part Sunday in the 2012 Investors Group Walk for Memories to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research and supportive services.

Over 70,000 British Columbians live with the most common form of dementia, and that number is only expected to climb over the next decade.

Jim Mann from Surrey was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 58 — a tough pill to swallow after having watched his mother go through it. He had to give up his company and plans to travel with his wife in their retirement, but has found fulfillment by becoming an advocate for the Alzheimer Society of BC.

He says there are a lot of misconceptions out there, particularly that Alzheimer’s only affects the elderly.

“Myself, I was diagnosed five years ago, and I am still fortunate to be active and so I think that for me is the biggest stereotype,” he tells News1130.

He says the annual walk is a key to raising awareness and support for those whose lives are touched by the progressive neurological disorder.

“It’s people who have dementia, it’s their primary caregiver and it’s family and friends. It’s a wide range of people,” he says of the walk’s participants.

Last year’s events in BC raised over $650,000, and it’s not too late to register to participate. For more information, to register or to make a donation, visit www.walkformemories.com.

Walks take place starting at varying times Sunday morning and afternoon in:

• Barriere & area
• Chetwynd
• Clearwater
• Cowichan Valley
• Dawson Creek
• Fort Nelson
• Fort St. John
• Fraser Valley
• Kamloops
• Kelowna
• Langley, Aldergrove & Abbotsford
• Nanaimo
• Nelson
• North Island
• Penticton
• Port Alberni
• Prince George
• Salmon Arm, Enderby & Armstrong
• Smithers
• Tri-Cities, Burnaby, New Westminster & Ridge Meadows
• Vancouver
• Vernon
• Victoria
• White Rock, Delta & Surrey