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Persons with cognitive challenges share stories and hope

June 26, 2012

Living with cognitive changes will be the theme Thursday, June 28, at forMemory’s “Pathways to Hope: Right Foot, Left Foot, Breathe” event.

A series of workshops and speakers will be featured from 12:30 to 9 p.m. at Town Center, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, 330 N. Orchard St. at UW–Madison.

The upcoming event is co-sponsored by forMemory, Inc., the UW–Madison Office of University Relations and the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of WI (ADAW). ADAW staff will explain its ways to address early cognitive changes, including the new memory cafe.

Speakers include Mary Kay Baum, a former Dane County board supervisor and Madison Metropolitan School Board member, who retired early from her work as director of Madison-area Urban Ministry at age 57 citing her cognitive decline.

Other presenters include songwriter Holly Near at 4:20 p.m. and renowned Eau Claire flutist Peter Phippen at 7 p.m. UW–Madison Director of Community Relations Everett Mitchell will serve as master of ceremonies.

Workshops offer Zumba dance, nature connections, breathing well, mindfulness and creative arts. At 1:30 p.m., youth who have participated in forMemory’s Time For Us camp will explain its impact on their families. The afternoon will also feature a silent auction and awards supper featuring healthy indigenous foods at 5:30 p.m. for advanced registrants.

The sports mantra “Right Foot, Left Foot, Breathe” is taken from former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt, who recently retired early due to Alzheimer’s disease. Tyler Summitt, her son and women’s basketball assistant coach at Marquette University in Milwaukee, has been invited to accept awards from forMemory for his mother and his own role in educating the public about life after diagnosis.

A suggested donation of $50 for the day includes supper when reserved five days in advance. The event is open to drop-ins for all or for part of the day. Persons with cognitive changes and teens are sponsored as guests. Registration is at Reserved parking may be arranged in advance.