Canberra Memory Walk & Jog

“This will be my second year participating in Memory Walk & Jog in honour of my late friend Peter.

I first came across Memory Walk & Jog after seeing a flyer in my local GPs Office. Having first-hand experience of the effect dementia had on my friend Peter and his family, I was looking for a tangible way to show my support for everyone living with dementia, their families and carers.

When I first heard about Peter’s diagnosis I was in disbelief; how could this happen to him? This was shortly followed by feelings of sadness and anxiety about how it would affect him and his wife Helen and their family.

Peter’s journey with dementia happened rapidly. He initially displayed difficulty communicating and would often go silent for long periods as he had difficulty in finding the rights words to say. Peter struggled to indentify people and objects as well as forgetting past events. Unfortunately, his condition quickly became too advanced for him to be cared for at home by his wife Helen, so he went into permanent acute care. Visits to Peter by Helen, family and friends became increasingly heartbreaking as Peter continued to decline and eventually became unable to identify his daughter and granddaughter. Sadly, after 12 months Peter lost his battle with dementia and passed away. I will always remember Peter for his legacies of love, laughter, care and kindness. As well as his deep devotion to all his family and friends who meant the world to him.

For me, one of the hardest parts of this journey is seeing the impact that dementia has on their partners who are often also their carers. This is why the Memory Walk and Jog event is so great. There is such a strong sense of a community coming together to support those impacted by dementia. It really does highlight that you are not alone!”

Peter’s and Helen’s dementia journey taught me to treasure every moment. Remember to laugh and have fun, spend time with the people you love and show them just how much you care.”’

- Peter