Elaine was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2006, at the age of 52 and since then the devoted couple have done everything they can to raise money and awareness to help beat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
During the last four years, with the help of family, friends and the local community, Elaine and Mick have raised over £8,000 for vital dementia research through numerous fundraising events. Elaine even took up jogging, getting in the fast track to run the London Marathon in 2008 and 2009. As media volunteers for the charity, they have featured in newspaper and magazine articles and appeared on TV, including a BBC Lifeline Appeal hosted by Sir Cliff Richard, a Patron of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.
Mick, 57, who served in the Nottinghamshire Fire Brigade for over 20 years, explained the motivation behind supporting the Alzheimer’s Research Trust:
“Since Elaine’s diagnosis, we’ve been shocked to learn that there is so little money available for research into Alzheimer’s disease. We want to do everything we can to help and are really honoured to be Champions of such a proactive charity.
“Elaine’s diagnosis was a huge blow but once we accepted the situation we decided to concentrate on what she can do rather than what she can’t. It triggered a new interest in running for Elaine – she found it was one thing she could do on her own – and it led to fulfilling the dream of completing the London Marathon, which was fantastic. Time has marched on since then and running is no longer an option for her but our two sons and close friends are carrying on the good work instead and have also taken part in parachute jumps and all sorts of different challenges.
“Sometimes, Elaine can’t help shedding a few tears of frustration when she forgets what cupboard the mugs are in or can’t manage to do up her buttons. But we try to see the funny side of things and have a little laugh together. We are very blessed to have our wonderful sons and two beautiful granddaughters. We receive tremendous support from family, friends and local dementia groups and we are truly grateful to them all and wouldn’t be able to manage without them.
”We’ve met some amazing people over the last few years and got involved in some extraordinary and inspirational things - TV, photo shoots, marathons – we could never have guessed. We’ve also learnt to appreciate the smaller things in life and make the most of every day. The cloud of this cruel disease is always hovering over us but we really have found a silver lining too.”
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said:
“The work that Elaine and Mick do for us is outstanding and we greatly appreciate their enduring support and enthusiasm. Together they are helping to raise the profile of dementia research and the money they raise is bringing us ever nearer to finding preventions, new treatments and an eventual cure.
“Over 9,000 people in Nottinghamshire are living with the daily reality of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Research is the only answer and more investment is desperately needed. Our work is entirely funded by our wonderful supporters like Elaine and Mick.”