Starting on Sunday September 1st, local artist Tony Luciani will be walking the Camino Trail across Spain to honour his mother Elia who lives with dementia. This 1,000 km hike (about the distance from Lion’s Head to Quebec City) is scheduled to take about seven weeks.
When Elia’s dementia led her to move in with Tony more than five years ago, there was an adjustment period. Fortunately, the two found a creative outlet that brought them closer together and helped bring dementia into focus for millions of people around the world. The unlikely collaborators produced a stunning set of photographs titled Mamma: In the Meantime. The images have travelled the world taking part in shows across the globe.
With Elia no longer able to take an active part in the photography, Tony views this trip as a final capstone on that project. “A Walk to Remember is for those who can’t”.
This is a solo journey but Luciani says he will not be doing it alone. “I’m putting everyone on my back for this trip. Everyone who has been through his or her own journey with dementia is coming with me in spirit. We’re heading to the End of the World so that we can start a new beginning and we’re doing a lot of good along the way.”
While this has personal significance for Luciani, he is using it as a platform to help promote awareness and raise money for the local Alzheimer’s Society of Grey-Bruce.
Luciani knows “… the local Alzheimer Society does amazing work. I was fortunate with mom that we found photography and that I can work from home. We had the whole community of Durham behind us. For many people, there can be other challenges and barriers in place and that’s where connecting with the Alzheimer Society to find out what supports are available is a great idea.”
To date, Luciani’s hike has raised more than $13,300 for the local Alzheimer Society of Grey-Bruce, an organization that supports more than 1,000 local families in the Grey-Bruce region. All funds raised will stay local. Donations can be made by contacting the local office (519) 376-7230 or going online to www.alzgiving.ca/goto/Camino.