We met at a baby group when our eldest were very small and challenging. We discovered a shared love of walking and bonded over both having tantrum throwing children. Over many hours of walking and talking (normally bollocks) we have become a little support network of our own, helping each other through the tough bits in life.
If you are close to Caroline or her family you will know they have been unfortunate enough to suffer with dementia. In 2019 Caroline's dad was diagnosed with dementia and to the shock of all of the family, friends and his medical team, his decline has been nothing short of catastrophic and he has sadly been moved to a nursing home for his safety under the NHS. No one expected him to decline as quickly as he has and none of us were prepared for the absolute devastation this disease has on everyone around the person who actually has it. Every day becomes a waking nightmare and you spend all of your time struggling to watch someone slip away day by day. Before carolines dad we, as many others, thought dementia was 'just' memory loss, it is so much more. It is the loss of motor skills, loss of speech, hallucinations, paranoia, getting stuck in previous time periods, the terror of not recognising your home or your family, aggression, violence...... The list goes on.
Currently the treatment options are almost non existent and the support offered by social services and the NHS is minimal, Caroline's family have been very lucky and have had the amazing support of a brilliant cpn through the NHS but many are not so lucky and are left to try and cope with this horrific disease alone.
We have decided to take on a half marathon together to raise vital funds for this charity, Rachel's family has also closely been touched by dementia so it is also a cause close to her heart. In previous years this distance would have been nothing, however, we have both had second children and life has become more hectic and walks less frequent. Caroline has also been suffering with a hip condition which began in pregnancy which causes major pain and difficulty in walking on occasion.
Please please support this charity to help fund vital research into treatments and hopefully one day prevention and cures to help all families living this waking nightmare.
.... And please all keep your fingers and toes crossed Caroline can manage this distance, which she hasn't attempted since her ongoing hip condition began.