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This year my dad will turn 52. For some that is not a big deal but for us, his family, it is nerve-wracking. My dad’s father (my grandpa) died at 54 years old at the hands of Alzheimer’s. My dad, at 50 years of age, has been diagnosed with Younger Onset Dementia. He has his own way of worrying, but I think that his biggest cause of fear is the knowledge that his own dad didn’t make it past 54.
As a young adult it is truly terrifying knowing that your mum and dad are scared about something that is absolutely out of your control. But in a way it has made us stronger.
They say patience is a virtue. I never thought I was very patient, but living with someone who has dementia has taught me that patience is the absolute best skill to possess. I often have to repeat instructions, re-tell my dad what my plans for the evening are or where I’m going. My mum struggles with this but who could blame her? She’s known my dad way longer than I have and I know it must be so heartbreaking for her.
We found Dementia Australia when my dad originally got his diagnosis, that’s how we came across the Memory Walk & Jog. We participated last year just to test the water, see how it all worked and to my surprise my partner and his family eagerly joined us for support.
This year I wanted to walk again and I wanted to raise even more money. I wanted to spread the word and show people that dementia isn’t just for the old, it affects the young too.
I have been so blessed to have such a supportive group of friends and family around me, their donations alone have gotten us to where we are at the moment. My workplace, The Nags Head Hotel Adamstown, has been a huge rally for myself and my family. They have kindly allowed us to take over the Friday night raffles and those funds alone have given us an extra $700 for the cause.
We will continue to fight and to fundraise right up until the end of March and I don’t ever want to stop telling people about Younger Onset Dementia.
Sponsor Jacinda and the Norman Lions
If you or anyone you know needs assistance with coping with dementia, or if these stories cause any distress, please call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.
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