Michelle Pullar and Ann McMonigle share their reasons for taking part in the Memory Walk as they encourage others to get involved:
Myself and my two sons (ages seven and one) are doing the Memory Walk again this year, as a number of family members have been affected by dementia. My Di (grandad) died just over two years ago and his brother, my great uncle, died in June last year. Both of them had vascular dementia. My gran also has dementia and I’m watching it become more advanced. People always think dementia is just people forgetting things, but it is so much more than that. After experiencing dementia with three family members, I would never wish it upon anyone.
I hope we can raise enough money so that no one faces dementia alone or, better still, that a cure can be found to end this disease.
My sons and I regularly walk around Lochore Meadows. Having a busy life, it’s important for me to spend some time away from the hustle and bustle, and the scenery around that walk is beautiful. Lochore Meadows was always a place my family members with dementia loved, so it makes it all the more special.
Anyone thinking about doing this walk should not hesitate. It’s suitable for people of all fitness levels and also suitable for pushchairs. The scenery is amazing and, whether you have been affected by dementia or not, it’s a fun afternoon with activities for kids. Most importantly you are raising money for an incredibly worthwhile cause.
Michelle and boys - after walk
In March 2015 we lost a valued member of our family: John, who lived with dementia for 8 years. John was a much-loved husband to Marion and father to Ann, Ian and Derek.
During the time that Dad was ill, Mum looked after him on her own, it being the duty of a loving wife, as she saw it. She was never aware that she could get any help, nor did she actively seek it out. She just did what she had to, not wishing to burden the rest of the family.
When the first Memory Walk fell on what would have been Dad’s birthday, we decided that we would do it in memory of him, and have continued doing this every following year. We have since found out that several other members of our family have had a diagnosis, so now we do the walk for all of them. As a family, we use the walk to reflect and remember, thinking about Dad and how he would have enjoyed it. He did love his walks, especially doing it as a family. Mum is in her eighties now so we go at a pace that suits her and she enjoys it.
We do this walk to raise funds, and to increase awareness of this disease, to further research in the hop that one day a cure can be found so that other families will not have to go through this.
We would encourage you to come along and have a go – no training necessary! Make it a family outing, bring a packed lunch, bring the kids, bring your dog! It’s great exercise for you all. Take the walk at a pace that suits you, take in the scenery and, most importantly, enjoy it!
Ann McMonigle's dad
You too can get involved. Sign up to walk to remember, to enjoy your loved ones' company or just for a bit of fun and exercise. Click here to find out where your nearest walk is.