A woman from Linton whose husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s aged just 43 has been made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Sarah King was given the title in recognition of her exceptional support for the charity after her husband, Andrew, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
The national charity 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 funds for research.
She has since taken the brave step of speaking out about her experience to help raise awareness and improve public understanding of Alzheimer’s.
Sarah said: “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.”
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 our appreciation for her hard work and dedication.”