For several years, Mauro Pellegrino's family members have met to walk together in his memory and raise money to find a cure for the condition that took his life.
The members of Team Pellegrino were among the 800-plus people who pulled on their runners and took to the Blue Mile on Sunday as part of the annual Illawarra Memory Walk and Jog for Dementia Australia.
The event raises funds to support those living with dementia, as well as research into the condition that has become the second leading cause of death in Australia.
Team Pellegrino has participated in the event every year since 2014.
"It's great, good to get the family together and remember Dad," Mr Pellegrino's son John said.
Daughter Angela Lavelle, a dementia advocate, said it was also good to raise awareness of the illness that affected so many people.
Many of the walkers were taking part in the event to honour a loved one.
Brad Hanns and his team flew the Parramatta Eels flag and donned blue and yellow apparel in tribute to one of the football club's passionate fans, Mr Hanns' father John, who died with dementia in 2015.
Mr Hanns said he wanted to raise awareness of Dementia Australia, as well as generate funds to find a cure and support those who lived with the condition.
Angela Masi, Peter McNamee, their daugher Avrielle Masi-McNamee and Ollie the dog took part for Ms Masi's mother Angela, who has lived with dementia for several years.
"It's a long, long goodbye, as someone put it... It steals their personality," Ms Masi said of dementia.
But participating in the walk was enjoyable, she said, and they got to meet other people.
Leilani, Neil, Lucy and Sophie Donovan wore participant signs decorated with musical notes in homage to Leilani's mother Elaine Keough, a pianist and music teacher who passed away in 2016.
"I think it's just a nice thing to do for her memory," Sophie said of the Memory Walk and Jog.
Neil said it also brought her back a little, to take time to remember her.
The participants in this year's Memory Walk and Jog in Wollongong had raised almost $62,900 as of Sunday evening, beating the event's target of $60,000.
Due to COVID-19 this year's event looked a little different with staggered start times, but Dementia Australia's fundraising general manager Simon Crowson said the number of people taking part had "smashed it".
Mr Crowson said the Illawarra was always really supportive of the event, and the volunteers came out in droves every year to make it happen. "It's been a great day," he said.
An estimated 153,000 people in NSW live with dementia, a condition for which there is yet no cure.
It affects thinking, behaviour, and the ability to perform everyday tasks.
Donations to an individual, a team or Dementia Australia can still be made online.
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