In September last year, my Dad was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia which is a rare and extremely progressive form of dementia that also includes Parkinson's and mental health issues such as hallucinations and depression, as well as numerous other complications.
It was a really rapid and dramatic descent from working and living a normal life to being bed ridden, unable to walk or feed himself and barely able to talk. The mental confusion and distress he suffered on a daily basis was absolutely heartbreaking to watch. Sadly, he passed away in May 2017, only 8 months after being diagnosed.
Navigating the public health system throughout his decline was tough on my whole family and there was a clear lack of support and services available. Alzheimer's Australia NSW is the peak body for people with dementia and their families and carers. They provide advocacy, support services, education and information. They aim to give people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia the respect they deserve and the services and support they need, whilst raising community awareness and understanding of dementia. I have seen first hand just how important this is and how much more funding and awareness is needed in this space.
This marathon just so happens to be on the week of what would've been his 71st birthday, so it's pretty fitting that I'm going to be running for him.
Please help make my self inflicted punishment worthwhile by sponsoring me to attempt to run over 42km. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.