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My Adventure for Dementia

17th July 2023 @ 6:06am – by Sue Satchithananda
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My Adventure for Dementia 22nd July 2023- Sue Satchithananda:

I'm not sure how many of you have heard the phrase 'Adventure before Dementia' but the philosophy is something that is close to my heart. I've always been a 'Just do it' kind of person. Maybe it's from years of working in a local hospital Emergency Department where you see how transient good health can be, how quickly it can escape or change unexpectedly in the blink of an eye, in the middle of a mundane and otherwise normal day.

I went through my early forties working slowly through a '40 things to do when I'm 40 list' and then realised that a bucket list is no good as you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. So I decided not to write a list , but simply to get on with doing stuff. There's never a perfect time, there's always barriers but it's better just to try rather than to spend time wishing I had.

I have watched dementia affecting patients, families and caregivers in my career but now it's personal. Several years ago my mother in law started with memory loss and we soon came to realise that the diagnosis means so much more than that : mood changes, changes in processing information even perception. Moments of insight that cause distress rather than relief at understanding. Last year my own lovely mum had a diagnosis of both Vascular and Alzheimer's dementia. And so another person and family set off on the journey of discovery about this tricky disease .

I know that I am so lucky to be fit and healthy and have the support of amazing family and friends. I'm not going to waste an opportunity to live my best life – and I hope to raise some money to help people with dementia along the way. And so, having taken up road cycling 2 years ago, I made my decision to enter the National 24 hour Cycling Time Trial. This is held on a course around Prees, riding legs to Telford, Shrewsbury and Chester. Competitors ride for 24 hours and see how far they can go in that time. You may have seen me preparing for this on my bike on the local roads at all times of day and night, guided by my friend and coach Jon of local business Spokes and Laces. I have had fantastic support as well by friends and members of my cycling club Crewe Clarion Wheelers who will also, with Jon, be acting as my support team on the day. I can't thank them all enough for their time and encouragement.

I know that the dark night-time hours on the bike in the middle of my 24 hour challenge will test me but I also know that if I am riding for all those families with dementia and importantly for two of the strong women in my life, my mum and mother in law, I will find some extra power and determination to keep going.

If you feel you are able to donate to Dementia UK on my behalf here's the link. Please copy and paste into your browser.

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