Friend of Hundon woman, 35, with dementia creates a calender to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society
Precious travel photos taken by a photography graduate before diagnosed with dementia a decade later at 31, have been released in a charity calendar.
A close friend of Becky Barletta – a former ski instructor who is living with frontotemporal dementia at her family home in Hundon – is aiming to help raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Society with a limited calendar titled ‘Nepal Through her Eyes’.
Kirsty Minton, 33, has used the 2020 calendar, to tell the story her friend captured through the lens when travelling the country.
Kirsty, who lives in Duston, Northamptonshire, said: “Becky had an eye for taking such beautiful photos and captured some amazing landscapes and portraits from her time in Nepal.
"Her warmth and kind nature enabled her to spark conversations with locals, help in orphanages and explore the natural beauty the country provided. It would be a shame not to share them.”
Becky’s condition is a rare and, in this instance, a hereditary form of dementia which predominantly affects younger people – the most common form is Alzheimer’s disease. Since diagnosed in 2016, her family have been open about her rapid decline, which means she can no longer communicate with them, in order to raise awareness of the UKs biggest killer.
Kirsty said: “Becky and I became friends around 13 years ago when we lived together in London. She was studying photography and I was working in Notting Hill.
“We had that perfect balance between us that meant we were great company to each other.
"We both wanted to travel and together we spent time in India and completed a ski season – she taught me how to ski.
"She just enjoyed life which is why it is cruel that dementia has taken it all away from her so quickly.
“The worst part is you are helpless to do anything for her but watch. I don’t want people to remember her for this, I want to help create a legacy for Becky and show the creative, talented and full life she led.
“I created a calendar of her photos as a gift for her family this year.
"They all loved it which gave me the idea of doing something more for next year.
“Selling the calendar to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society is my way of supporting Becky and others going through similar experiences.
"It’s also about raising awareness as many people still don’t understand the impact this condition has.
“We can all try to be more dementia friendly.”
Heidi Wilkinson, Alzheimer’s Society Community Fundraiser for Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: “The calendar is unique and a great way for people to unite against dementia while adding something different to your Christmas shopping.
“Money from the sale of each calendar will help Alzheimer’s Society to challenge perceptions, fund research and improve and provide care and support to anyone affected by dementia.”
The calendar is on sale at £15 with all proceeds going to Alzheimer’s Society.
There is a limited amount which can be request by emailing Kirsty at firstname.lastname@example.org or purchased from:
Alzheimer's Society, 4 Oak Spinney Park, Ratby Lane, Leicester Forest East, Leicester, LE3 3AW.
Duston Village Bakery, 39 Main Road, Northampton, NN5 6JF
The Kings Head, Dullingham, Newmarket, CB8 9UJ
More by this authorSteve Barton