Jules Walton, in Stratford-upon-Avon, tells us about her Step Up for Dementia challenge.
My mum was diagnosed with dementia over two years ago. She’s a beautiful lady with a fantastic heart and, like everybody out there, she doesn’t deserve this.
Mum’s care home went into lockdown two weeks before the whole of the UK. I felt lost. I’d been seeing Mum every day and I hated the thought that she would think she had been abandoned.
I had the awful call to say that Mum had suffered a seizure. I panicked because I couldn’t go to her. I wanted to hold her and tell her that we were there for her, but I had all of that stripped away.
And it was just like fate, that in a matter of hours an email popped up from the Society about Step Up for Dementia. So I just said yes, I’m doing it – I needed to feel like I was doing something for my mum.
Mum in my heart
I did a million steps rather than the suggested 850,000 because it sounded better when I was begging people to sponsor me!
I walked every single day, minimum 14 miles. I always had Mum in my heart to keep me going, always talking to her when I was down and fed up with not being able to go to her.
I finished at the grounds of Mum’s care home. They’d got banners, balloons, pans they were banging, whistles, everything. And as I walked down the drive, there in the doorway was Mum. I wanted to run to her.
Well I did, and they shouted, ‘No Jules, you can’t, come back!’ So I stopped, and she just looked – the look on her face, she knew it was me.
Dementia takes away somebody who you love so much, but COVID has made that 10 times worse.
Step Up for Dementia was a big positive to me, because it distracted me from my reality and enabled me to do something which was good for my own sanity and health.
I’ve now done 2.5 million steps for Mum and raised nearly £5,000. And this isn’t the end for me – it’s the beginning of something I’ll continue to do.
I’ll keep shouting from the rooftops for Alzheimer’s Society, every step of the way.
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