Photo by Donni Reddington
Don and Donni Reddington started their statewide motorcycle tour Tuesday.

Methow Valley resident Don Reddington and his daughter Donni set off on a 10-day motorcycle tour of Washington state on Tuesday (July 4) to promote awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.

The “Ride4Alzheimers” — with Donni piloting the motorcycle, and Don tucked into a sidecar — will take them to Bellingham, Seattle, Olympia, Yakima, Spokane and end at the Pybus Center in Wenatchee on July 12.

Each stop will feature a free rally for people with dementia, their loved ones, and all who support a dementia-friendly community. The rallies, hosted by local partner organizations, will include food, music, speakers and resources for support and education.

Don was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago. He wrote a series of well-received articles, “Living With Alzheimer’s” that appeared over several months in the Methow Valley News. Later, the articles were combined with other stories and photography in the special magazine, Living With Alzheimer’s: the Reddington Project, which was produced by the Methow Valley News with the assistance of community donations that helped cover costs. The Reddingtons will be taking several bundles of the special publication with them, to distribute at their stops along the way. Several of the events will be at senior living centers.

“For Don, it’s all about encouraging other people who have dementia,” Donni said in a press release this week. “He wants people to know that there is life beyond diagnosis. You can find ways to cope and make the most of each day.”

“It’s special to me, because you never know, it could be our last big adventure,” Donni said. “I’m looking forward to being together out there on the road. And I’m excited to help my dad spread his message.”

Marigrace Becker, University of Washington Memory & Brain Wellness Center’s program manager for community education, will be joining the Ride4Alzheimer’s tour to spark interest and action around dementia-friendly communities along the way.

“Don and Donni are making a powerful statement that we all need to hear,” said Becker. “For too long, we’ve let fear and shame define the dementia experience. It’s time to come together as a community and ensure that everybody has a chance to stay connected and engaged.”