Walk raises dementia funds and special memories
THE Grant McBride Memory Walk raised $20,000 for Dementia Australia, but it was an emotional journey for many participants, including Hamlyn Terrace's Carol and Diane Wilson.
They walked in memory of their father and husband, respectively, Peter Wilson, who died on Diane's birthday in June from dementia.
He was 78 and had been diagnosed about 18 months earlier.
Both women wore photos of Peter pinned to their t-shirts in remembrance.
"It wasn't easy (to take part), but Dad was a runner, so he would have been very proud of us," Carol said.
She referred to her dad as "a brilliant man" who had done "everything right" as far as his health was concerned.
A former member of the British Merchant Navy, the navy was his passion and he led tours at the Sydney Maritime Museum and Old Government House Parramatta for many years, did crosswords, ate well and was very fit, cycling and taking part in fun runs, half marathons and even a marathon.
"It was a lovely way to remember Dad, and a good way to make more people aware of the horrific disease dementia is, and how it can take someone, anyone ... it doesn't discriminate," Carol said.
The Forget Me Not team, comprising Chris Kiely and his wife Sarah, from Yarramalong, and his sister Bernie Winwood, from the UK, walked in memory of his mother, who died from vascular dementia in 2011.
Chris congratulated Member for Dobell Emma McBride on organising the event to raise awareness of the disease, its effect on individuals and families, and assist in funding vital research.
A total of 368 walkers took part in the inaugural walk, held at Long Jetty on September 8 and named in honour of Emma's father, the long-serving former Member for the Entrance (1992-2011), who died in February, at 68, after living with younger onset dementia for over five years.