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Past President Tells of Life with Alzheimer’s

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Robin Leckie in 1975-1976, when he was President of the CIA.

A former leader of the Canadian actuarial profession who is suffering from Alzheimer’s has given a moving account of life with the disease.

Robin Leckie, one of the exclusive group of actuaries who have served as President of both the Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) and Society of Actuaries (SOA), was diagnosed with the debilitating condition three years ago.

In an article published in the Globe and Mail ("How Alzheimer’s has changed my life"), he described the diagnosis as a relief, as it explained the "isolated moments of memory loss, confusion, and indecision". While medication has since helped against the disease, which he said was slow moving, he now suffers confusion, dizziness, and nightmares, but is in no pain. However, he knows of "no diet or drugs or surgery that will suddenly cure me".

Mr. Leckie was President of the CIA from 1975–1976 and SOA from 1980–1981. He also served on the CIA’s Council for many years, and committees such as Younger Actuaries, Education and Examinations, Emerging Issues, and Elections. He enjoyed a long and successful career, which included working for Manufacturers Life Insurance and later running his own insurance and actuarial consulting business in Vancouver, BC. But he chose early retirement more than 20 years ago, he wrote, "prompted by my concern even then, over my occasional lapses of memory. I knew I had not been performing at the high level I had set for myself."

Mr. Leckie, who lives in Toronto, ON, and celebrated his eightieth birthday last year, added: "I sometimes think this is my sunset time. The bright light of day is passing and darkness lies ahead. I do not know what the dawn will bring. But right now, in this moment, I am thankful my life is full."

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