Young charity champion speaks out about her father’s Alzheimer’s

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By Philip Tubby | Tuesday 16 May 2017

Living with Alzheimer’s disease is difficult for any family but Ciana Ayre will talk about what it was like to find out her dad had dementia when she was only 13 at this year’s Alzheimer’s Show at London Olympia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion Ciana, who was the voice behind Freya in the charity’s thought-provoking Christmas advert Santa Forgot, will give a talk about her personal experience of dementia.

Ciana Ayre – credit Hamish Mitchell and S Magazine

The London-based student will talk about what it was like to grow up with a parent who had dementia.

Ciana, who was 13 when her dad Mike was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s aged 46, said:

“Dementia has been a big part of our lives since we were young. My parents were very open with us from the start. I understood that he would die.

“I remember the morning after the diagnosis Mum asking Dad to make her a cup of tea. He was joking that he’d have forgotten how to by the time he got downstairs. He’d always had a great sense of humour and that was very reassuring.”

Mike died just five years after he was diagnosed, when Ciana was 18 and her sister Chrissi was just 16.

Alzheimer’s Research UK returns to the Alzheimer’s Show on June 9 and 10 as the event’s Research Partner. Champions Marianne Talbot and Alison Carter will also share their personal experience of dementia in the Talks and Topics section of the Show.

Speaker Dr David Reynolds, Chief Scientific Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, will give a talk on what is currently known about dementia, exploring the complex field of dementia research and where it is heading with the latest updates.

Dr Reynolds said:

“This is an exciting time for dementia research with considerable national and international focus on speeding up the pioneering research we need to find new treatments for the diseases that cause dementia.

“I’m looking forward to sharing the latest news about development in dementia research, and answering any questions people have about the progress being made.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK will have a stand (F6) at the event where people can drop in and find out more about the charity and the groundbreaking work it does.

There will also be an opportunity for people to pick up free information about dementia and find out more about how to get involved in research, as a member of the charity’s Infoline team will be on hand.

For full details about The Alzheimer’s Show and to book your tickets please visit Alzheimer’s Research UK supporters receive a 50% discount with code ‘ARUK50’

About the author

Philip Tubby