Michelle Pease in Basildon, Essex, tells us how setting up an online tribute page in memory of her mum, Dorothy Chambers, has helped her family.
Mum was a real sweetheart – kind and generous of spirit. She had a lovely smile and a wicked sense of humour! She had to be strong after my dad died in his early 60s, and our family loved how that strength stayed with her, even after her dementia diagnosis.
Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in late 2014, aged 82. For the first year she was still at home with a package of care, but I don’t think she really understood what was going on. In 2015 she moved to a really nice care home, where she lived happily and was very content.
As the dementia progressed, she could do less and less – her ability dwindled. She became less able to concentrate and engage, so we’d try to enter into her world with her.
As time went on, she knew me as a friendly face but lost understanding of who her grandchildren were.
Mum died in November last year, 10 days before her 88th birthday.
We had so much support from Alzheimer’s Society after Mum’s diagnosis. We used The dementia guide a lot – it really helped.
We’ve been fundraising for the Society since 2015, including Memory Walk and Cupcake Day. After Mum died, we wanted a way for people to be able to donate in her memory. I discovered online Tribute Funds, and within two weeks we’d set a £5,000 target for May 2020.
We did this year’s GLOW walk in Southend, and my nephew ran a half-marathon route round where he lives after his official race got cancelled because of coronavirus. We passed our fundraising target during March! I was totally overwhelmed by the money we started to get.
You can also upload photos to the tribute page. It’s a nice repository of memories and there’s something about putting them on the page that makes it feel special. Lighting virtual candles has really helped with my grieving – I can’t explain it, but it’s just a really nice thing.
I really appreciate the support and understanding we’ve received from Alzheimer’s Society. I think it’s important for other supporters to know how brilliant they are.
We’ve raised over £12,000 for the Society since 2015. It’s such an important cause – a cure for dementia needs to be found. We’re Team Dotty and we’re not going to stop!
Celebrate a life
An Alzheimer's Society Tribute Fund is an inspiring way to honour a loved one, providing a special space online to share with family and friends.