Cathie’s Story

Cathie Thrall was born in 1936 to Greek parents, Chris and Anastastia Christou, in Lethbridge, Alta. She enjoys a full, colourful life and finds pleasure in family, her community and in the arts.

Photo by Jared Sych.

Photo by Jared Sych.

Thrall had an early career as an English and home economics teacher in Calgary, before moving back to her hometown of Lethbridge. It was there, in 1962, that she married her husband, Ralph. As a couple, Cathie and Ralph were passionate about supporting close-to-home music and art initiatives including the Lethbridge Symphony and local visual art institutions. She was able to feed her creative fire throughout her life by studying textile design in Red Deer, Banff and California. Thrall was also a devoted mother to her four children and their household was full of laughter and activity. 

In 2011, after 49 years of marriage, Ralph passed away. Around the same time, Thrall began to display early signs of dementia. She says having Alzheimer’s “is a strange new experience. Some days I remember things more than other days. You do the best you can each day. 

“[I have learned] I have to accept help. [The advice I would give to others with dementia is to] become familiar with your own home — that’s a big plus — and jot down some of your experiences.”

Thrall currently resides at the Legacy Lodge in Lethbridge, Alta., which integrates vivid colours in its design and offers playful art programs. Up until recently, Thrall relished in playing classical piano pieces she retained from childhood. Charming and gregarious, she enjoys socializing with other residents and spending time with her family. 

“[Life now] looks bright and sunny. I like to hear good music, I like spending time with my children, I love them. I feel lucky.” [ ]

Share your story with us at feedback@dementiaconnections.ca.