Mam (right) at her birthday meal, October 2004
In October 2006 we lost our mam Pauline Baker to Motor Neurone Disease, something we had never heard of until 10 months previous when she was diagnosed at the age of 61.
Over the course of those 10 months mam gradually lost her ability to walk, move, swallow and talk. Mam was a talker to say the very least (!), so to see her lose this ability on top of everything else was heartbreaking. She faced her illness with amazing determination, and still kept her wonderful sense of humour.
Many others face those same challenges. Since mam's diagnosis we have been running to heighten awareness of MND and to raise funds for the MND Association, in the hope that one day a cure will be found, and nobody will have to go through the same as mam did.
Lance with his children October 2015
Sadly, my dad, Lance Curtis passed away on 17th October 2019 after many years suffering with Alzheimer's disease. It's heartbreaking to see the person you love slowly disappear, leaving only a physical shell. While it's difficult to see your dad struggle to recognise his family and friends, it's the fact that he has lost the person he was that is so dreadful, all those memories of his previous life are gone.
Dementia is an illness that affects the entire nation as it has profound consequences for the immediate carers, as well as the health and social services, so effective treatments and a cure are desperately needed.