Michael Harbott is sharing his and his wife Maureen’s experience on the dementia journey to raise awareness for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

Michael Harbott is sharing his and his wife Maureen’s experience on the dementia journey to raise awareness for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s.

Family shares their story to create change for other families affected by dementia

The book, Our Fine Romance, is the kind of love story that most will never know. Yet, this is the true story of the lives and love of Michael and Maureen Harbott.

Thirty years ago, Maureen started typing out her family history and tales of growing up in London, England during the Second World War. She encouraged Michael, who also spent his childhood in London, to do the same. So Michael, who couldn’t type at the time, wrote his contributions by hand and Maureen typed them out. Their collaboration took 12 years, then sat untouched for several years while Maureen’s symptoms of dementia progressed. Finally, Michael wrote the last chapter and immortalized their story in print.

“She never really knew that we had a book,” Michael says. “What a wonderful legacy to leave. It was an amazing achievement and I never thought I could do anything like that. If Maureen hadn’t started writing I never would have done it.”

Michael and Maureen are among the people affected by dementia who are being honoured at the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s this May. The online event is the largest fundraiser for the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and, this year, participants are encouraged to walk their own way throughout May before joining together for an online celebration at 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 30, streamed on the Alzheimer Society of B.C. Facebook page.

Maureen now lives in long-term care, with support from Michael, as well as their children and many grandchildren. Michael has been active in the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s caregiver support group in Tsawwassen, and has fundraised to help ensure others have access to the same support and education they do.

“When we started with this disease, there was quite a stigma,” Michael says. “People didn’t talk about it, but you can’t escape it. By being open, it draws other people to you.”

Funds raised for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s help British Columbians at any stage in the dementia journey by supporting the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s programs and services. To register for the event, participants can visit walkforalzheimers.ca, choose their local community and create a fundraising page to share with friends and family. No matter where or when they walk (in accordance with current public health orders), participants will make a difference in the lives of people living with dementia and their caregivers.

If you are affected by dementia, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. can help. Visit www.alzheimerbc.org to learn more.

Event participants walk where they want, when they want throughout the month of May.

Event participants walk where they want, when they want throughout the month of May.

Health and wellnessPhilanthropy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating serious collision in Surrey

Incident happend May 6 at King George Boulevard and 128th Street

Surrey Fire Service firefighters quickly contained a fire on 75A Avenue. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Surrey firefighters extinguish second house fire in Newton

Second fire incident reported in Newton Sunday morning

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 9

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vancouver Giants celebrated a Justin Sourdif goal Saturday night in Kamloops. Giants dropped a 3-1 decision to Kamloops, a game that clinched the 2020-21 B.C. Division banner for the Blazers. (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants drop 3-1 decision to Kamloops

Third-period rally should have come sooner, said coach of Langley-based team

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country’s crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
IHIT investigating after man killed in Burnaby shooting

Police looking for more information on fatal shooting

After Bobby Henderson apologized online for his comments to a Toronto reporter, the Langley Rivermen announced that he was no longer team coach and general manager and in fact, had ‘parted ways’ with the franchise in March. (file/Twitter)
Former Langley Rivermen coach and GM apologizes for comments to Toronto reporter

Bobby Henderson blames stress due to the pandemic for his ‘disparaging’ remarks

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read