Grandmother completes wheelchair push challenge to raise awareness of vascular dementia and Admiral Nurses
A grandmother who has been diagnosed with early onset vascular dementia completed a gruelling nine-mile wheelchair push from Warton to Blackpool to raise awareness of the charity that supports people with the condition.
June Doyle says her worst fear is not being able to recognise her family if her dementia deteriorates – a heartbreaking thought that inspired her to raise money for Dementia UK.
The 64-year-old, who has a son and daughter, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, propelled herself from The Clifton pub at Warton, through Lytham and St Annes to the
Sandcastle in Blackpool on Saturday.
June completed the challenge alongside her eldest grandson Ben Tibbs, his girlfriend Paige Withers and her two-year-old son Deaton, with June’s husband Kevin driving the route in a
“That’s the scary bit. If I get it really bad, I don’t want to not be able to recognise my children and grandchildren.
“Not many people know about the Admiral Nurses (specialist dementia nurses) who help people with dementia.
“They work hard and have to put up with a lot so that’s why I wanted to raise some money to help.”
June was a former sewing machinist and a volunteer police community support officer in Burnley before moving to the Fylde 14 years ago.
An accident around 30 years ago led to her having a curvature in her spine.
She added: “It had snowed and it was really deep with ice underneath.
“ I slipped and damaged my coccyx which led to curvature of the spine.
“I get a lot of pain.
I walk short distances with crutches and use a wheelchair or mobility scooter for longer distances.”
June’s dementia came to light after her husband Kevin noticed she was forgetting things and leaving the cooker on.
Scans revealed she had four bleeds on the brain, which led to her being diagnosed with vascular dementia two years ago.
June added: “I didn’t want to believe it, and I don’t think it has really sunk in.
“I’m not on any medication for it apart from aspirin to thin my blood to prevent blood clots on the brain.
“I get frustrated telling someone something because I repeat myself.
“But I try to be as independent as possible. There’s nothing I can do to change it, I just get on with things.”
And the tenacious grandmother is certainly showing her determination.
She completed the challenge in five and a half hours, raising more than £300 for Dementia UK.
June added: “It was tough and I had blisters on my left hand so I was relieved at the end.
“Thank you to my family for supporting me and coming along the journey.”
Ben, 26, from Warton, added: “It was a fantastic day. My nanna has been there for me all my life so I wanted to do something for her.”
Vascular dementia is caused by problems with blood circulation to the brain. Around 17 per cent of people diagnosed with dementia will have vascular dementia. Advice is available from
the Dementia UK charity at https://www.dementiauk.org/about-dementia/
To donate to Dementia UK search June’s fundraiser for Dementia UK on Facebook.
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