“She was brave and strong and broken all at once” Anna Funder

Alzheimer’s disease is a condition in which happens gradually over many years and eventually becomes more severe. The brain shrinks drastically affecting nearly all its functions, starting off with memory problems, forgetting recent conversations or forgetting names of people or places, difficulty making decisions and later things increase by getting lost in familiar places, problems with speech, confusion, personality changes such as becoming aggressive, demanding, low mood or anxiety and needing help with everyday tasks.

Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t care who you are. It doesn’t care who you used to be or even who you might have become. To be blunt, it spits on you and we decided as a family to fight back and so can you.

There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medications are available to help relieve some of the symptoms.

Early last year our worlds came crashing down, when our beautiful loving Nanny was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. Some of you may know her as Shirley, she would do anything for anyone… literally! A few years back if you walked into her house she would put pots of tea on, lunch, chocolate biscuits and daytime films shed always tell me her favourites were Bollywood dancing and the old black and white ones. Sadly, now she even forgets to put the telly on.

Remembering the good old days, helps me to deal with her illness… she’s still the person I know and remember, brings anyone out in balls of laughter! Always on the ball and has some very quick come backs that I would never of thought of

My Nan’s diagnoses come as shock, putting her behaviour down to old age and losing her partner. Looking back now knowing what she’s going through we realised that she had been suffering with this for a long time even before our Grandad’s death.

Nanny’s bad days consisted of not leaving the house, she would always be invited to places such as weddings and trips to the seaside but her excuses started accumulating. The last few months are completely the opposite, she loves being out and about… she often goes to The Memory Café to mix with other people dealing with the same illness and she loves it there, listening to music, playing games and socialising.

Since, my son Bradley has been born she has found a very special bond in him… They bounce off each other! Its almost as if she goes back to being a child again. Seeing her face light up when she sees him is just amazing to see. If Nan has a bad day seeing Bradley will most defiantly change that.

Recently, Nan's illness is at its worse… and yes, we know it will get worse but it’s difficult seeing her change daily! She’s so vulnerable and frail, yet so strong and brave, kicking life in the face. Literally!

My sister Claire, Cousin Samantha and I would like to help Alzheimer’s research UK, on their journey in finding a cure for this awful illness. By participating on a skydive and trying to raise money.

Alzheimer’s Research receive no government funding’s and are completely dependent on the generosity of all their supporters. This disease shatters lives and leaves millions heartbroken, every pound we raise brings us closer to a cure to defeat the disease.

You go Nan were all so proud of you. Love you lots xxx

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