Jeanette and Colin

Hunter Memory Walk & Jog

“Watching your husband and best friend who was once an active man who loved to play golf, go fishing, spend days in the garden, spend time with loved ones and crack jokes disappear is a heartbreaking journey.

Colin was diagnosed with dementia in 2011 after we noticed he was struggling with his short term memory. Colin currently has his long term memory, so if you ask him about something from 10 years ago he would remember, but if you ask him anything recent he would not know.

Colin played sport up until his 40s and was actively involved in council meetings for recreational and environmental issues. Even when he could no longer play sports, he still watched his grandkids play sport on the weekend. He had a great saying which he would always tell the grandkids, ‘no matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game’.

To go from this to someone who doesn’t do anything, doesn’t know where he is, can’t have discussions like he used to, feels like you have lost your partner and best friend.

“Memory Walk & Jog gives Colin a chance to be outside and active again”

We have taken part in the Hunter Memory Walk & Jog for the last four years. Usually around 15-20 extended family members and friends participate every year! It’s a great chance to come together to support Colin and other families who are going through similar struggles - to show them, they are not alone in this, and you have a whole community behind you.

For our family this is such a fun day to go to, it brings us all together to talk, be happy and catch up with friends who we haven’t seen in ages.

We have always loved family traditions. Whether it’s for Christmas, Easter, birthdays… we have special traditions for each one and we carry them on year after year. These celebrations have always held a special place for Colin and I, and it’s lovely to see the grandkids getting excited for these traditions too.

We have loved creating a new family tradition of going to Memory Walk & Jog to support not only Colin but anyone who is touched by dementia, as we know firsthand the heartbreaking journey of having a loved one with dementia. The day also fills me with hope that so many in the community are standing beside us, and that one day one day in the future we might have a breakthrough and find a cure.”

- Jeanette