Karen's Story

Adelaide Memory Walk & Jog

Karen has been a dedicated participant at the Adelaide Memory Walk & Jog since it began in 2014. Each year she gets involved “for our amazing Mum and Grandmother, Beryl. An inspirational woman struck down by this cruel disease.”

Sadly, Beryl passed away in May 2019. Karen always finds crossing the finish line an emotional experience, but the event in 2020 will likely now be one of the toughest. Karen’s mum and dad were due to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary last year.

Beryl was in her 80s when she was diagnosed with dementia. First and foremost Beryl was a truly loving mother to her three children, Sanya, Karen and Gary and a beloved wife to Ron. She was much-loved country high school teacher, with a “huge, compassionate heart”. Beryl dedicated her life to helping others and to making a positive difference in the world. Beryl was a healthy, capable woman with a deep love for nature and animals. She also loved reading and doing crossword puzzles.

But when she stopped doing those things, her family realised something was wrong.

Beryl’s husband, Ron, was by her side constantly, caring for her at home for five years. He continued to hold her hand every day for four years after she had to move into aged care. Beryl and Ron had lived in Loxton for 51 years, spending their last decades in their dream home, overlooking the Murray River, watching the pelicans. After moving from the home that held such a special place in her heart, Karen shares that Beryl became depressed and then began to show signs of dementia.

Memory Walk & Jog will continue to be a way for Karen to honour the inspirational Beryl. Last year Karen was joined by her 15-year old daughter Anisha. Anisha was especially close to Beryl and has really felt the loss of her grandmother. Despite their grief, the family carries Beryl’s amazingly strong and positive outlook with them. At her funeral, they chose to play one of Beryl’s favourite songs, Monty Python’s ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’. An inspiring way to remember the way Beryl lived her very full life!

Join Karen to honour and remember all our loved ones at the Adelaide Memory Walk & Jog on Sunday 29 March 2020.