North London couple recognised as Champions for their tireless charity work

17 August 2018

Dedicated supporters Graeme and Trina Armstrong have been made Champions of Alzheimer’s Research UK in recognition of their continued support as speakers and campaigners for dementia research.

Trina and Graeme
This accolade recognises the couple’s exceptional support as spokespeople for the charity since they came on board as media volunteers in 2016. They have contributed to numerous high-profile topics and shared their personal experience of dementia, appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and featuring in the Financial Times during its seasonal appeal as well as representing the UK’s leading dementia research charity at the Alzheimer’s Show in 2018.

The north London couple are passionate about dementia research and raising awareness of the rare form of dementia that Trina is living with. Trina was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) in 2013 after years of sight issues.

Posterior cortical atrophy or PCA is a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease which primarily affects the part of the brain that translates information from the eyes into images. Those living with PCA effectively go blind over time as their brain function deteriorates.

Trina’s husband Graeme, who is her sole carer, is keen to help people understand more about dementia and why research is key to finding new treatments for people living with the condition.

He said:

“It took a long time for Trina to be diagnosed with PCA, initially she was diagnosed with having had a stroke as the symptoms lined up with that. However when the medication Trina was given for a stroke didn’t improve her symptoms we went back to the specialists who diagnosed this rare form of dementia.

“Since the diagnosis we’ve learnt to work around Trina’s condition, but things are not easy. That is why we are passionate about dementia research and supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK as we hope scientific breakthroughs in the field will mean that new treatments are identified in the future.”

Trina and Graeme are keen to continue raising awareness of dementia to tackle the stigma and fear surrounding it and were delighted to be made Champions of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Trina said:

“I am so pleased that I have been able to share my experience with others and hopefully improve their understanding of dementia and what it means to live with a rare disease like PCA. I hope that by talking about my diagnosis, I have helped to start conversations around dementia and dispel common myths.”

Graeme added:

“We are honoured to become Champions for Alzheimer’s Research UK. We would like to continue raising awareness for as long as possible to help the charity defeat dementia. Hopefully there will come a time when others will not to have to live with the terrible consequences of dementia and the diseases that cause it.”

Trina and Graeme join a group of around 50 people who have been made Champions in recent years 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:

“Trina and Graeme have gone above and beyond to raise awareness of dementia since they first volunteered for the charity in 2016. Their input into our virtual reality experience, A Walk Through Dementia, was invaluable and has helped provide valuable insights into dementia to thousands of people. 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 volunteering or fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org