Tennille Caddell is part of a team in Rockhampton, QLD organising a DIY Memory Walk & Jog event on 8 July. Below, she shares her personal story and reasons for getting involved.
“In the years that my Mum was laying the foundations of our family she was strong, graceful, loving, nurturing, committed, a leader. She gave everything to us, to her family. Her four children were her life, her pride and joy. We loved her endlessly, we tested her and made her stronger. We held her tight, enjoyed her love, cheekiness and sparkle.
In those years I was watching her, Dad too. I take the lessons that my Mum taught me and the things that I watched her do as she raised a family, and how she connected in a loving, growing relationship with our Dad. I now put those lessons into the foundations of my family, my relationships and with the people who enter into my life. From foundations you grow and those around you grow.
Today the strength from my Mum is now in those who she has influenced in her life, and we are taking care of her just as she has taken care of us. Nurturing her, committing ourselves, giving her sparkle, love and everything that we can to keep the foundations within her heart alive and strong.
My Mum has dementia, and it’s not fair. She’s 66, she’s too young.
For me fundraising is about creating awareness of the disease. I want people to be aware of their loved ones, of their neighbours and friends and know that at a young age dementia can happen. The journey can be lonely, scary and new ground for people to be treading on. It feels like you’re entering into a suffocating cloud and there is no way out.
For us (my two brothers and sister) it has been a new journey to accept this life of our Mum and Dad’s. We’ve helped them to adjust into the life that lays ahead of them and we’ve learnt to understand we need to just take each day as it comes.
I’ve learnt that dementia isn’t just about the person who has the disease. It’s about each and every person who is involved with that individual. It’s a journey and it doesn’t come with a cure. It’s important to reach out for support. Set yourself up to be able to deal with it the best way possible, to get the best quality of life that the person with dementia and their carer needs.
I had a goal for 2018, and that was to participate in the Memory Walk & Jog on the Sunshine Coast and raise money for Dementia Australia. It was marked on my calendar to get involved.
In 2017 life led me to become a registered volunteer with Dementia Australia here on the Capricorn Coast in Central Queensland. I felt hopeless living away from Mum and Dad, my heart ached for them and thoughts of other families living with dementia were always on my mind. I really wanted to give something to the organisation and help support families, help them not to feel alone in their journey and to assist them in getting in touch with the right people before crisis point.
I have become involved with a great team of people, people that can make things happen. So when I thought of holding a Memory Walk & Jog up here, Lisa Toner, our Community Development Officer, encouraged the idea as it was a positive step to create more awareness and help reduce the stigma about dementia within our community.
I am excited and proud for us to be holding this event along one of our beautiful beaches in the town of Emu Park, where I live. I can’t wait to see the community leaving their footprints on the sand for Dementia Australia.”
More information on the Capricorn Coast Memory Walk & Jog event can be found by visiting http://www.memorywalk.com.au/events/62/capricorn-coast
Hosting a DIY Memory Walk & Jog is the perfect way to get together with friends, keep fit and have a great time while raising valuable funds and awareness for Dementia Australia.
The great thing about DIY Memory Walk & Jog is that you really can do whatever you like! You can tailor your event to suit your group by choosing your event date, location, distance and any additional fundraising activities, making it as grand or as subtle as you like! We think it’s great that participants can shape their own experience, while our Fundraising team is on hand with support, every step of the way! To find out more about organising a DIY Memory Walk & Jog in your own local area, visit http://www.memorywalk.com.au/page/12/diy-memory-walk-jog