Memory walk campaign launched
Saturday 7th September 2013
Memory walk campaign launch
A FORMER East Farleigh man has helped kickstart a national Memory Walk campaign for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Brian Fuller, who recently moved from the village to Sandhurst, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's aged just 54 – although he noticed his memory failing some years earlier.
Now aged 57, he has set up a mentor group in Maidstone to help others who have been diagnosed.
Brian and his wife Sue were at Leeds Castle to help the charity launch its national Memory Walk Campaign and to encourage others to get involved and register for the walk.
The former car technician, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia, will be striding out for the Alzheimer’s Society on Sunday September 29, as part of the charity’s flagship fundraiser.
Walks will be taking place throughout Britain, with the Maidstone walk, giving participants the option of a 3km or 10km walk, starting in the grounds of Leeds Castle.
For the third year, Bupa Care Homes, a leading provider of specialist dementia care, are getting behind the walk.
Louise Foster, home manager at Staplehurst Manor Nursing Home, said: “Our staff, who care for people with the condition, will be getting behind the walk this September and encouraging our residents’ families and friends, who have been personally affected by the condition, to get walking to raise valuable funds.”
Brian said: “I did not go to my doctor at first, but because of my job as the problems got worse I got more worried and did not want to put someone at risk if I forgot something important.
“It took a while to get a diagnosis and when they said I had Alzheimer’s it was a huge shock, especially at my age.”
Brian said he felt very depressed initially but, after attending the Maidstone support group, he realised life does not have to stop and you can live a full life with dementia.
He has joined a local theatre group and sings in a choir. He also enjoys dancing and said: “I am doing to the walk as a way to stay fit and active. I try to embrace everything and do as much as I can. I am still the same person I just forget a few things.”
In West Kent its estimated 5,830 people are living with a form of dementia, but only around 44 per cent will receive a diagnosis. One in three people over 65 will develop the illness.
This year Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging people to take part in the Bupa Memory Mile, comprising the final stretch of the walk.
For every walker who takes part, Bupa Care Homes will donate a further £2.50 to support people living with dementia.
For more information, or to sign up, please visit www.memorywalk.org.uk
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