Laura shares her reasons for taking part in the Hobart Memory Walk & Jog on Sunday 22 March.
“A diagnosis of Younger Onset Dementia was an initial shock to everyone, including of course Mum. But at the same time, there was also a sense of relief, as we now had an official diagnosis and explanation of why Mum was doing things that were deemed very ‘out of the ordinary’.
There were signs of memory loss and difficulty in planning or solving problems, but the catalyst to go to the doctors came when I was in the car one day with my mother driving. She turned to me and said, “I don’t know how to drive”. We safely pulled over but this made me significantly concerned about what was happening to my mother. I was scared. She was diagnosed with dementia in January 2013.
My Mum was undoubtedly the bravest, most positive, loving and selfless individual I have ever known. She was a constant source of inspiration to those around her, including myself. The way in which she dealt with her diagnosis, and later on accepting her fate, was nothing short of inspiring.
The hardest thing to come to terms with was the reality that one day, I wouldn’t have my Mum anymore.
The help and support of Dementia Australia is next to nothing. Knowing that there is support available, is heartening. Some years ago, in 2014, I participated in the first Memory Walk & Jog in Hobart and was able to raise $4,345! The support I received was overwhelming to say the least and I am looking forward to this year’s event.
My mum inspired me to take part in Memory Walk & Jog. I know she would want me to do all I can to raise awareness and also raise money at the same. Helping others would be at the front of her mind. The day is also a great opportunity to interact with other people who have gone through the same journey or are at the beginning of their journeys.
Being amongst people who are all there for the same reason is really empowering. Just one conversation can change someone’s day.
Sadly mum passed away on Boxing Day in December 2017, at 62 years old.”
The Hobart Memory Walk & Jog is one of twelve such events taking place around the country in 2020. You can find out more at www.memorywalk.com.au
Thanks for sharing your precious family's story Laura. Looking forward to reconnecting at the walk!