Sarah King, from Linton in Cambridgeshire, has been made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK. Sarah was given the title in recognition of her exceptional support for the charity after her husband, Andrew, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease when he was just 43. The national charity, based in Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, now has a small but growing group of 17 Champions – supporters who have gone above and beyond to help in its mission to defeat dementia.
Sarah, 45, first began supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK when she took part in the charity’s Big Walk last year, raising much-needed funds for pioneering dementia research. Sarah has since taken the brave step of speaking out in the media about her experience on behalf of the charity, helping to raise awareness and improve public understanding of Alzheimer’s.
“When Andrew was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago it was a terrible shock, but it was also a relief to finally understand what was causing his symptoms. Little by little the disease has taken away his abilities, and Andrew is now in a care home as he’s no longer able to walk or talk. I feel lucky to still have Andrew and visit him often, but watching his decline has been absolutely heartbreaking. When we first got married we dreamed of having children but those dreams have been shattered now – the impact of this disease has been enormous for our whole family.
“Before he became ill, Andrew worked as a geneticist so I’m well aware of the importance of research, and that’s one reason I chose to support Alzheimer’s Research UK. I would dearly love to see a treatment that could help people like Andrew, but research is vital for that to happen. I’m pleased to be doing something positive to help in the fight against dementia and I’m honoured to be made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK.”
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re delighted to make Sarah a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK – she has shown such commitment in her support for the charity and she truly deserves this honour. Sarah has always been willing to help us raise the profile of dementia research, and this is our way of showing our appreciation for her hard work and dedication.
“By sharing her experience and talking honestly about Andrew’s diagnosis, Sarah has helped countless people understand the reality of Alzheimer’s disease. Her fundraising and her promotion of research have been a real boost to our work, helping to bring us ever closer to new treatments and preventions.
“More than 6,000 people in Cambridgeshire alone are affected by dementia, and treatments to combat the diseases that cause it can only come through research. Every penny we spend on research comes from the public, and it’s thanks to wonderful supporters like Sarah that we’re able to make an impact.”
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