Sophie’s Diary: We need to work for a cure to safeguard our memories

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Growing old scares me. I’m referring to the age where I don’t need to work – once I’ve retired, raised my children, in the process of raising grand-children, there’s money in the bank and I’m free to live the life I’ve always wanted to.

I can imagine there’s nothing more rewarding than spending my life with someone I love, building a family with them and then watching that grow and flourish into things which become beautiful memories.

That doesn’t scare me – it gives me motivation to work hard and achieve the things I want to in life.

What scares me is the idea of my brain giving up and all of a sudden I can’t remember the memories I’ve created.

Unfortunately, that’s a reality the people in my family have increasingly had to face.

Alzheimer’s was something I never paid much attention to until a couple of years ago.

I remember watching Neighbours when I was younger and there was a storyline about a character who was suffering from the disease. It broke my heart watching his memory fade and wished it would never happen to anyone I knew.

Of all people, I never thought it would knock my great-granny. She is undoubtedly one of the kindest, most interesting people I’ve ever met. Watching her memory deteriorate is breaking our hearts. The last time she saw me, she couldn’t remember anything about me.

It’s terrifying to see what dementia is doing to my great-granny and our family.

My great-granny has lived the most wonderful life and it’s so upsetting to know she cannot enjoy her golden years relishing in her memories.

I’m scared of Alzheimer’s affecting me and I’d never wish it on anyone else either.

But this disease is not something to be ignored – we need to continue to work towards a cure.