East London couple recognised as dementia charity Champions

20 August 2018

Dedicated supporters Vicky Huntley and Martin Taylor have been made Champions of Alzheimer’s Research UK in recognition of their continued support as speakers and campaigners for dementia research.

Vicky Huntley

Vicky Huntley

This accolade recognises the couple’s exceptional support for the charity since they got involved with the organisation in 2010. They have shared their personal experience of dementia to help develop a virtual reality experience surrounding the condition, dispel myths with articles in the national media as well as appearing in Alzheimer’s Research UK’s first educational art exhibition, Reframe Dementia.

The Beckton couple are passionate about dementia research and raising awareness of the rare form of dementia that Vicky lives with. Vicky found out she carried a rare inherited gene for Alzheimer’s disease in 2007 when she was just 38 and did not have any symptoms. Now aged 50 she is showing symptoms and needs support with day to day tasks.

Vicky, who has a faulty version of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) gene, said:

“There is a history of early-onset Alzheimer’s in my family so I decided to get the test to see whether I would develop it and the results came back positive which meant I would develop early-onset Alzheimer’s.

“When I talk to people and say I have Alzheimer’s they don’t believe me, they tell me I’m too young. That’s why I want to raise awareness of how dementia can and does affect people of different ages, like me. I want people to talk about dementia not shy away from it.”

Her husband Martin has said that despite the diagnosis they have been making the most of the time they have together by taking holidays, having ‘barbecues in the rain’ and spending time with their family.

He said:

“Things are becoming more difficult for Vicky as time goes on but we still make sure we do things together and with the family and live for the day so if we want to have a barbecue and its raining, we just have a barbecue in the rain.”

Vicky and Martin join a group of around 50 people who have been made Champions in recognition of their efforts in both fundraising and raising awareness on behalf of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Vicky and Martin have gone above and beyond to raise awareness of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease since they first volunteered for the charity almost eight years ago. Their input into our virtual reality experience, A Walk Through Dementia, was invaluable and has helped to make the app the great success it is today. They are outstanding ambassadors for the charity.

“We appreciate all they have done for us in spreading the word about dementia and the work we do here at Alzheimer’s Research UK and therefore we would like to thank them by inviting them to become Champions.”

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about how to volunteer or fundraise for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org