Dementia is a cause that is very close to my heart. Over the past 10 years I have witnessed first hand the effect that this disease has on the person suffering from it as well as family members and loved ones offering support. Dementia is a disease that affects millions of people around the world. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a normal part of ageing. It is estimated that 1 in 20 people over the age of 65 suffer from Dementia.
My beloved Mum was diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia at the age of 58. She showed immense courage and strength in tackling this disease with grace over the 8 years to follow. She was an incredible soul who always put everyone else’s needs before her own and represented the true meaning of selflessness in all forms.
Dementia is a progressive, degenerative brain syndrome that affects memory, behavior, thinking and emotion. However, it can easily be dismissed as incidences of forgetfulness or memory loss due to ageing. As Dementia progresses, so too do the needs of the affected requiring assistance with all aspects of daily life. Dementia is not only confusing, frustrating and scary for the person dealing with it but it can also be very taxing on the family and loved ones who are often the only ones providing the care and support. Those requiring additional support are often not aware of the options available or may feel guilty for ‘abandoning’ their loved ones when seeking outside support.
My Mum’s passion for giving and helping those around her has inspired me to try and make a difference and to raise some much-needed awareness around Dementia and the support available to those needing it. Dementia SA is a non-profit organization whose primary focus is to provide support and innovative services to address the challenges faced by people with Dementia as well as their families and caregivers in South Africa.
In loving memory of my amazing Mum who lost her life to Dementia in August 2016, I would like to raise awareness around this disease that affects so many. In doing so, I would also like to raise funds for Dementia SA to help other families in need of supporting their loved ones suffering from this hard and challenging disease.
My goal is to complete the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (56km) and with your help raise $1000 for Dementia. There will be opportunities to sponsor my runs per km for the qualifying run and the main event. Of course any donation, no matter how small, will be much appreciated.