A revolution is growing and I’m part of it. Like many people I have experience of dementia – in fact I’ve seen it affect not one but two of my loved ones. I know as the condition becomes more prevalent even more people will see multiple family members battle with a form of dementia.
It started with my grandfather. I remember he had dementia when I was young, though back in those days we didn’t know much more than that and I’m not even sure if he was formally diagnosed. You see, we are a very private family and so it was just something that we got on with and never spoke about. He passed away 15 years ago.
Then a few years ago my mum was diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease to be precise, at the age of 70. Thankfully the changes in her memory have been slow but even this has been a challenge. She forgets things we take for granted like turning the oven off when she has finished cooking and remembering where she is – she often gets lost.
That said she is still able to live independently with the support of my family and I am grateful for that.
Despite this support system it is still something we don’t talk about as a family, preferring to deal with the practical rather than the personal and the emotional. That is why raising awareness of dementia is so important to me. More people need to talk openly about it and the Dementia Revolution has inspired me to do that.
On marathon day, I won’t just be running for my mum and my grandad, I’ll be running for everyone who is living with the heartbreak of dementia. One person in particular is a close friend who has had to watch her mum’s decline. She has a rare form of dementia which affects her speech and so she has lost the ability to talk making communication difficult.
Since I’ve started fundraising, so many people have opened up and told me how dementia has impacted them and their families. This is what keeps me going on those cold winter mornings when I put my trainers on and count down the miles. Knowing that I am part of the Dementia Revolution – a movement that is fuelling change – feels great.
I firmly believe that we will advance our knowledge of dementia with research. In my own lifetime, I have seen the power of science and take hope for the future.
For dementia, we can do more than hope. We are the Revolution and we will take on the fight to stop the march of dementia. We can do this. Together we are strong. So please join us!