Why Traitors star Diane Carson is doing her bit for a cure

Diane Stanley Carson
Diane Stanley Carson

By Alzheimer's Research UK | Wednesday 29 May 2024

In 2016 Diane Carson, star of BBC’s hit reality gameshow The Traitors, lost her much-loved dad Stanley, to vascular dementia.

The retired teacher and mother of three, originally from Northern Ireland and now living in Lancashire, picked up on warning signs when he’d visit, and soon realised something wasn’t right.


The devastating truth

“Dad was lots of fun and loved a joke, so we probably didn’t recognise the developing signs of dementia until further down the line”, says Diane. “I started to notice his forgetfulness and realised he wasn’t just having a laugh. So, I pushed for him to go to the doctor, which he resisted – until I burst into tears one day and as he hated seeing his loved ones upset, he finally made an appointment. Being so close, receiving news of his diagnosis was hard to take, and still is.”


“Being so close, receiving news of his diagnosis was hard to take, and still is.”


Diane and her parents


Stanley eventually lost his independence completely, moving into respite before his death. Determined to do her bit to stop other families going through similar experiences, the 63-year-old decided to take on West London’s gruelling obstacle course, Tough Mudder, to raise funds for a cure.


Rallying for the cause

Although Diane knew it would be an exhausting day, it meant a lot to her. “Taking on Tough Mudder was more than just a physical challenge for me, it was a testament to the strength, joy and spirit of my dad. Dementia robbed him of who he was, it was devastating to witness. I count myself lucky to have had Stanley as my dad and I am determined that my family remember this amazing man as he was before the cruelty of dementia.”

Rallying together, many of her castmates showed their support, including her son and co-star, Ross, runner-up Mollie, as well as Jasmine, Miles, Zack, Kyra, Anthony, Johnny, Aubrey and Brian. While she knew they’d be up for the challenge, being there for her on the day was “heartwarming”.


Ross, Jasmine, Mollie, Diane and Zack splashing through the mud!


“We made a great team on the show so I knew they’d put their all into it. A few of them have also been impacted by dementia in some way, so it means a lot for us to do something together to help put a stop to this awful condition” said Diane.


Celebratory group picture after conquering the challenge


To support Diane’s fundraising, visit: Diane Carson is fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK (justgiving.com)

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Alzheimer's Research UK