As you may know, my eldest cousin Chris died in April 2015.
Chris once said that if he could change one thing in the world, it would be to cure his father, who has early-onset Alzheimer's. Since his death, our family and his friends have raised over £17,000 in his memory to help Alzheimer's Research to find that cure.
Earlier this summer Alice took part in the London Triathlon, then in October Alice and Mark will be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon alongside our cousins/nieces to try and break the £20,000 barrier.
Dementia is not something we plan for; its effect on the lives of our loved ones is colossal. In the words of my cousin Hanna:
"Before Dad became ill, I always thought of dementia as an inevitable part of ageing; becoming a bit forgetful as you enter your dotage, granny repeating herself. I didn't expect it would take my Dad, who was 58 when he was diagnosed. I didn't know that it could start with your speech and your language. I didn't think that my name could be one which my Dad forgot. I had no idea how hard dementia is on a family. On the articulate and brilliant man who slowly but surely loses their words and thoughts. On the loving wife who is forced to move from confidant and partner to carer. On children, who aren't nearly practiced enough in giving the kind of support their parents now need. And on the wider family and friends, who see it all happen and don't know what they can do. We lost Chris in a day, but we continue to lose Dad every week, every year, a little bit more every day.
The truth is that we can't grant Chris' wish - research is too late for our Dad. But the Alzheimer's Research team are working as hard and as fast as they can to stop this disease from affecting other families. Please help us to help them.
Thanks for reading."