My name is Kevin. I’m 59 years old, married to my wife Fiona, and I am currently living well with Alzheimer’s disease.  


Fiona and I have been together for 43 years, married for 39, and we have two kids and three grandkids. I work full time buying and selling steel and have done for last 17 years, but in past lives I’ve been both a publican and a professional footballer. I signed professionally at the age of 16. I played for two Ayrshire teams – Ayr United and Auchinleck Talbot, and then with my hometown team, Queen of the South. I had a few bad leg injuries over those years and had to hang up my boots prematurely at aged 32. 

I started to notice some changes a few years ago. I left my bag on a train – and I know things like that happen but there were other signs too. I felt a change to my temperament and recall snapping at my boss at work. I could feel something changing in me, it’s hard to describe. Fiona and I were on holiday, and I came out of a shop and walked off on my own for a few hours. I knew after that I needed to get checked out. 



This was at the start of the pandemic, and it first they put it down to nerves and anxiety about COVID. They ran a few tests and told me I was physically in good condition and to come back in another six months. I told them my balance wasn’t right and I was also making some mistakes at work. Eventually I was referred to neurology. I got MRI and CT scans, and a memory test. My age was causing them to hesitate with a diagnosis – my symptoms didn’t correlate with someone so young.  We were on holiday when I got a call to come in and see them. I have Alzheimer’s disease with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Turns out my football injuries were far greater than I ever knew. 

Fiona asked ‘where do we go from here’. The consultant told us there was no cure, but they could slow the process down. It’s been hard getting the medication right over this last year but I’ve never given up on anything before, and I’m not about to give up on myself. I will keep fighting. Having to give up my driver’s license was very hard to take. That took away my independence. I now rely on other people whereas before they relied on me.  I now also rely on Fiona for our financial decisions after I was targeted by internet fraudsters and lost a significant amount of money.  

The biggest impact is that I’ve gone from somebody outgoing to the total opposite.  Fiona runs me to work and picks me up. I like routine so we watch the same things every night. We don’t go out – I don’t like noise or being in an environment where there’s no escape route. I think my friends found it difficult at first. They kept phoning up and saying what’s wrong? Why are you not coming out? I couldn’t face them. It was hard. I tend to keep myself to myself and that’s not fair on Fiona – she’s young and fit. She looks after me, we have a strong bond. We go out in the open space a lot and visit places I know well, like the Ayrshire coast, Glasgow and Edinburgh. 


It’s important to talk about dementia and the impact it has on you, and your family. It means a lot to be able to share my story and raise awareness, especially about having it younger than people expect. The more people are aware, the better. It might help someone to get checked out if they’re starting to experience symptoms. If reading this only helps one person, I’ll feel like I’ve done my job. 

I work for a small family business and they’ve been fantastic with my diagnosis – very supportive and have never put me under any pressure. My three grandkids also keep me going. There’s always somewhere to go, swimming, football – they keep you young. They’re my inspiration to keep fighting. You either get on board and deal with it, or it beats you quicker that you want it to beat you.  

Dementia is one thing about me, it’s not everything.


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