I am a person with Early onset Dementia who is a volunteer for the Alzheimer's Society.
I was born in the North East of England and lived there until after I had been married for a year, after which, my Wife and I moved South to the Oxford Area where we stayed for 30 years.
We now have two grown up Children who were born in Oxford, along with two beautiful little Grand Daughters
Until 2003 when I was diagnosed as having Lewy Body Dementia, I confess that I did not know a lot about dementia as I had only ever heard of Senile dementia. I had been very happy working as a University College Engineer, and thought that I had another 10 years of working life left. I was devastated when I was diagnosed, but then things were made even worse when I was told that I was not ill enough to get medication, but I had lost my job, and my home which went with the Job. At the end of 2003 we moved back to the North East, as my mother had died and the family home was empty. This gave me a new start to life again as I already knew the neighbours at the family home and they were very supportive. After needing to be diagnosed again I was given the medication that had been refused in the first hospital, although to be honest I really did not expect it to work.
Since being given the medication on 2004 I have managed to get my life back, and I am now enjoying myself doing all the things that would have been impossible before the medication. This week end my Son Mark and I are doing a sponsored cycle ride to raise money for our local branch of the Alzheimer's Society, but I am going along to raise awareness of this disease which can have horrific effects on those with the illness as well as to their families. When I was diagnosed in 2003 I had to stop riding my bike as I kept falling off, but I am now enjoying every minute of cycling again.
Like many others with this illness I am enjoying life and taking each day at a time, as some are better than others. I am lucky to have a very good family, my Wife Janice, Daughter Claire, Son Mark, along with all the very good friends in the Society, who have helped me so much over the last few years.