Brighton And Hove Undertake Memory Walk For Alzheimer’s Society
A tide of blue t-shirts arrived at Hove Lawns on 7th September, as around 1,000 people united against dementia at Brighton and Hove Memory Walk.
Hannah Mackay, whose father is currently living with dementia, cut the ribbon to start Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk, accompanied by her children. The 35-year-old mother of two took part in Memory Walk to raise vital funds to beat dementia, after learning she will develop a rare inherited form of the condition, as her father and grandfather have done before her.
Speaking at Memory Walk Hannah said, “Dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer with someone developing it every three minutes – yet dementia research still trails far behind other health conditions, after decades of underfunding.”
“Alzheimer’s Society is committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow. I am so glad that people from across Sussex united against dementia to improve the lives of people living with the condition. I have had such an amazing day taking part with my family, meeting other people who are also affected by dementia. I know that together, one day, we can beat this.”
Also taking part in Memory Walk was five of the Miss Brighton GB finalists, Christina Loizoi, Rachel English, Danielle Evans, Holly Hoskison and Marra Murphy. Alongside the finalists, the reigning Miss Brighton 2018 Rebecca Kite also took part in the walk, as part of her final appearance before handing over her crown at the final on Sunday.
Julie Bitout, one of the Directors of Miss Brighton GB said, “This year we very nearly didn’t do Miss Brighton due to our lives being turned upside down by dementia. Both my parents were diagnosed within 6 months of each other and this dreadful disease has totally consumed the last two years of our lives.”
“Mum has lewy body dementia and my dad has mixed dementia, with Alzheimer’s and vascular. The disease is really traumatic from hour to hour as things can rapidly change and dealing with both parents and their different difficulties and needs is overwhelming. I can’t bear to separate my parents, they have been together for 60 years and wouldn’t survive without one another. So as a family we pull together and try to view this as our new normal, as it is for the 2,000 other people in Brighton and Hove currently living with dementia.”
“This year all of our Miss Brighton GB contestants are raising an incredible amount of money for Alzheimer’s Society. Whilst I couldn’t make it to the walk today, due to my care commitments for my parents, the girls have made me so proud by taking part. I know that every pound that they have raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.”
If you missed out at Brighton Memory Walk there is still time to get involved in another walk near you, with walks in London, Surrey and Portsmouth coming up in the next few weeks. A total of 40 flagship walks are taking place this month and next, or people can organise one of their own. To find out more about the remaining walks and Your Walk, Your Way, go to memorywalk.org.uk