In May 2014, Dad and I are walking the West Highland Way in memory of my mum, who suffered from a terribly cruel disease and died last year at the age of 72.
Mum was a geographer who loved the rugged Scottish countryside, and if she was still with us I know she'd want to take on this challenge herself. She would totally approve!
We made the decision to walk the 96 mile West Highland Way back in September 2013 and have given ourselves several months to get ready. This was no easy task as we were both starting from an overweight and underfit position!
Dad has completely changed his lifestyle, going to the gym/ swimming/ walking (an average of 11,000 steps a day) and feels better than he has for years. I've been walking 5-10,000 steps most days, but really need to step up my training as May gets scarily closer.
Why are we raising money for PSPA? Neither Mum's GP or the care home where she spent her last 12 months were even aware of this disease. It is frequently misdiagnosed as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, so we want to do our bit to raise both awareness of the condition and money for the PSPA who support those suffering. If you're interested in my mum's story, read on...
At the age of 67 my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Her cognitive abilities and health deteriorated very rapidly and, before long, Dad was caring for her 24 hours a day. Following an accident at home, she was admitted to hospital where attempts were made to get her walking again. These failed and it was agreed by all parties that the safest place for her (and Dad) would be in a care home.
She was unable to do anything for herself and could no longer properly communicate with us. She did, however, always know who we were - this is not consistent with the advanced stages of Alzheimer's.
Following her final brain scan, a hospital specialist concluded that Mum was actually suffering from PSP, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. When we saw the list of symptoms associated with PSP, this explained an awful lot. It also gave a reason for the accident that lead to a very rapid deterioration in Mum's condition.
Money is needed for research into this vile disease and any donations you make will be very much appreciated.
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