Sussex woman to honour three family members at Brighton Memory Walk
A daughter is going the extra mile for her mother and two other family members at Alzheimer’s Society’s Brighton Memory Walk.
Joanne Ford, from East Grinstead, is donning her walking boots to join hundreds already signed up to take part at Hove Lawns No1 on Saturday 1st October.
Encouraging others to join her at the seafront venue, to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Society, Joanne said: “My husband’s mother and sister died with dementia in 2019. Now my own mother is living with the condition after her diagnosis last year.
“I’ve seen a rapid change in her condition and now she doesn’t always remember who I am. We care for her full-time with the help of professional carers. There were signs which we did not pick up on straight away as unlike the symptoms you often hear about with dementia, mum wasn’t repeating herself.
“However, looking back there was a time when my mother called up insisting she had forgotten how to put the oven on, but we put it down to the fact she lived with us during lockdown and did not need to cook for a long while. She would also walk to the shops and forgot what she needed to buy, so ended up with tons of food in the fridge.”
Joanne will be taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s Brighton Memory Walk, with her friend’s nine-year-old son, his dad and her husband.
She said: “It was our friend’s son who wanted to take part in the walk for my mother, Sylvia. I choked up hearing that. It is heart-warming that someone so young would want to take part and fundraise.”
“This will be our first Memory Walk and will be a lovely opportunity for us to remember relatives no longer with us. It will also raise money to help those like my mother living with dementia now, while offering hope that treatment can be improved and a cure found in the future.
“Alzheimer’s Society is a cause close to us and we try to support its amazing work as much as possible. In September we are also arranging a charity concert and Farmer’s Market at our local pub.”
Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging people across Sussex to join Joanne this October, to help people affected by dementia through some of the hardest and most frightening times.
Memory Walk will bring together people who have been personally affected by dementia, those who want to walk to remember a loved one, and people looking to raise money for charity.
There are 26,500 people estimated to be living with dementia in Sussex. Last year, nearly 500 walkers and 40 volunteers helped make the Brighton event a success with £58,700 raised.
Jolian Ardolino, Alzheimer’s Society Area Manager for Sussex, said: “It has never been more important to support Alzheimer’s Society’s crucial work. Too many people in the county are facing dementia alone without adequate support. We urgently need to find a cure, improve care and offer help and understanding for people affected.
“We are in awe of our amazing fundraisers like Joanne who go above and beyond to raise vital funds and awareness for people living with dementia in Sussex. Every step our fundraisers take will help us provide a lifeline of support for as many people affected by dementia as possible.”
Hundreds of walkers have already registered to take part in Brighton’s Memory Walk. The events have been a regular fixture in the Autumn calendar for over 10 years, seeing half a million walkers raise over £41 million for Alzheimer’s Society nationally.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that dementia was the leading cause of death in England last month, accounting for 11 percent of all deaths. It was the 13th month in a row that this has been the leading cause.
Visit memorywalk.org.uk to find out more about organising your own Memory Walk or taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s organised events this Autumn.