Zack and Jackson's Story
Just over 10 years ago my Grandma, Barbara, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She was a proud and independent woman who is now totally reliant on my Grandad, Derek, for all her needs. The likelihood of the illness affecting someone related to you is worrying but as often with such life changing illnesses, no one expects it to be their Grandma – sadly it was mine.
The nature of Alzheimer’s is progressive and causes
total deterioration of mental and physical wellbeing, which is distressing for all those concerned. Myself, and my family, have seen an extremely bubbly, warm, kind and loving partner, grandparent, sister and mother transform into a fading shadow of her former self.
The 1000 km ride, of course, is to raise both money
and awareness in order to defeat the illness one day. However, on a personal level, it is also to show support to my Grandad. He now spends everyday caring for my Grandma and all her needs in the most kind, devoted and thoughtful manner. He doesn’t receive support and nor does he want it. As he says ‘in sickness and in health’ – a hero in my eyes.
Last year on the 23rd of April I lost my Grandma who had been suffering from Alzheimer’s. I witnessed personally the crippling effects and deterioration of someone I loved, at the merciless hands of this disease. Her passing came with great sadness however, with a sense of relief as her confusion and suffering had come to an end. This is my story, but also the same story that ,unfortunately, millions of family’s worldwide experience.
Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of death in women and second for men, which is a horrifying statistic. This is only exaggerated by the fact that it’s the only disease within the top 10 killers that hasn’t got a cure or prevention.
I am cycling the 1000km not just for my Grandma but for the 850,000 people suffering within the UK.
Both our stories show just how cruel and evil an illness Alzheimer's really is, with our Grandmas slowly and painfully being taken from our lives.
Alzheimer’s research UK is a charity tackling this issue with the focus on finding a cure and prevention. We are passionate about raising money for such a great cause to end the suffering and torment our families and many others have been through and will go through.
Thanks for taking the time to read our stories and any donations, whatever the size, will be greatly appreciated.