After our dad was diagnosed in 2015 with Alzheimer’s disease we both struggled to find a positive outlet and we felt powerless against the disease that had taken a hold of dad.
We know that it’s too late to stop Dad’s Alzheimer’s and that our focus needs to be on his care and to support him through the changes that continue to happen. But what we can do is fight for a cure for the future through research.
That is why we jumped at the chance to take part in the Guatemala Volcano Trek for Alzheimer’s Research UK. When we saw that the trek involved climbing volcanoes in Guatemala, a challenging seven days of walking, climbing and scaling the highest peaks in Central America – we knew this was for us.
What we want to do is to raise a lot of money to fund vital research to help see an end to dementia. We want to raise awareness and fight the misconceptions that come with a diagnosis.
We have thrown ourselves straight into fundraising. We have some great ideas for events to help raise the money we need. Our first big event was our quiz night in May which raised £900!
We are overwhelmed with the support we have had from people and were delighted with how the evening went.
Having also had the opportunity to attend a locally held Alzheimer’s Research UK event in Aberdeen, we heard from top researchers at the charity and found out about local projects that researchers are undertaking. This was a real boost for us as it was fab to hear of action happening on our doorstep at Aberdeen University. It was also great to meet the charity’s Chief Scientific Officer David Reynolds who will be doing the trek too!
As for training, we live in Scotland – we are never far from a mountain to climb and we are more than happy to travel this beautiful country in search of treks, hikes and adventures. We also aim to use these training walks to really boost our profile. Donning our Alzheimer Research UK t-shirts and making sure we document our achievements, we want to let everyone know what we are up to and what we are fundraising for.
Our journey really does start here, with less than a year to go we know we have a tough road ahead. Training, fundraising and getting prepared for this mammoth challenge. On the difficult training days we will be reminding ourselves of the reasons we have undertaken this and the incomparable daily challenges people living with dementia face.
We really want to get across to people who may see this and jump to conclusions that this will be a jolly holiday for us, we are under no illusions and want others to know too that this is not a holiday but a challenge to raise money and the money donated will be going to the vital research that will change lives.
Dad has always been very active and has taken on many physical fundraising challenges in the past; coast to coast and the Three Peaks Challenge to name but a couple. He even took on a cycling challenge recently to help fundraise towards our trek. We know that if he could, he would be joining us on this journey.