Angela Anderson from Wishaw was busy fundraising to take part in the Forth Rail Bridge Abseil 2020 with her brother Kris and father Thomas, who lives with dementia, when Covid-19 brought events in the UK to a standstill.
Despite the event cancellation, Angela didn’t let this deter her and immediately looked to sign up to a new activity which was permitted to operate with strict social distancing guidelines. This led Angela to the Highland Fling Bungee Jump.
Angela’s inspiration derives from several family members who have received a dementia diagnosis. Angela explains,
“Alzheimer's is unfortunately something we have had experience with. Our wee Papa Anderson and Granny Broon both got hit with the illness but that was "understandable" I guess as they were the stereotypical older generation. Within recent years however the stereotype has been proven wrong as our dad got diagnosed with early onset dementia”.
Thomas Anderson, 56, resides in Law Village, South Lanarkshire and was diagnosed with a rare form of dementia called Posterior Cortical Atrophy, also known as Benson’s Syndrome; a progressive degenerative condition which causes damage to brain cells at the back of the brain. Angela continues,
“Unfortunately, a few years ago my dad was diagnosed, and he was only 52! This was just something I could not accept, and made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever, and being honest I don’t even think now it makes sense, or ever will. My dad loves an adventure, whether it be climbing hills or climbing trees, but he is limited as to what he can now do”.
Thomas is visited by a support worker twice weekly to provide care and allow Isabel, Thomas’ wife some well-deserved respite. Thomas and Isabel also attend monthly meet ups (prior to lockdown) for people affected by dementia and Angela explains how important this is for them both,
“I feel this is a must for anyone affected. This is a great support network for my dad to interact with those who share the same frustrations, and likewise gives my mum someone to chat to in similar situations and share ideas and experiences to support one another”.
Coronavirus has impacted people’s ability to attend group activities and receive the support they need. Since the pandemic began, Alzheimer Scotland have worked fast to adapt our support online to ensure we still reach the people who need us the most. In order to provide this support Alzheimer Scotland relays on fundraised income including event participants.
Angela tells us more about her decision to fundraise,
“Initially, my father, brother and I were going to Abseil off the Forth Rail Bridge but due to Covid this has been postponed. So? Go hard or go home! I couldn’t wait to help raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland. For any fundraising event, despite doing so for a great cause, I like to always use this as a personal challenge too. Whether it be doing a 5K or jumping off a bridge, if this is something out with your day to day, why not give it a go and use a fundraiser as encouragement not to back out and achieve your goals”.
Angela completed her bungee jump on 11th October at Killiecrankie, Perthshire and raised an incredible £1,130.00.
In addition, Angela, Kris and Thomas also signed up to Do it for Dementia and completed a virtual cycle around Turkey, her father’s favourite holiday destination. The challenge covered 300 miles and visited Thomas’ favourite parts of Turkey virtually.
“It is upsetting to see my dad’s frustrations when he wants to do something but simply can’t, such as cycling as he was always off out on his bike somewhere. With this in mind, this is why we had chosen to do a virtual cycle as we can use static bikes and he is able to do something he loves whilst being safe!”
From everyone at TeamAlzScot, well done and congratulations to Angela, Kris and Thomas for their inspiring fundraising efforts.
Near to the famous site of the Battle of Killiecrankie and suspended over the beautiful River Garry you will find the UK's first static bungee jump. A safe and thrilling experience amidst a beautiful Scottish landscape you will experience an airborne flight of a few seconds at over 50mph.
Up for the challenge? Get in touch to book a Bungee Jump or Bridge Swing with us on a date that suits you.