AFTER seeing the effects of Alzheimer’s first hand, Stella Edwards is determined to make a difference.
Stella, of Broadgreen, is a full-time carer for her dad, Samuel, who was diagnosed with dementia in December 2010.
Three months ago she started her own blog, Don’t Be Like That Stella, and due to its success she has now launched her own charity, with the same name, which will fund trips out for Swindon members of the Alzheimer’s Society.
The 41-year-old is holding a fundraiser at Nuffield Health in Greenbridge tomorrow, which will raise money for Don’t Be Like That Stella and the Alzheimer’s Society.
“I want to make a difference because of my dad. I know what I can do and I know I can make this charity a success,” she said.
“In the future I want to do more fun events and get people out and enjoying themselves. I want to bring the community together and having a good time celebrating life.
“Nearly everyone has been touched by Alzheimer’s in some way and I am amazed at the response I have achieved so far.”
Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Brain cells are surrounded by an abnormal protein and their internal structure is also damaged.
In time, chemical connections between brain cells are lost and some cells die. Problems with day-to-day memory are often noticed first, but other symptoms may include difficulties with finding the right words, solving problems, making decisions, or perceiving things in three dimensions.
Samuel, known as Sammy, is 81 and was diagnosed after he started acting differently.
“He was short tempered and erratic, just a bit all over the place. He was forgetting things too,” said Stella.
“I thought he just didn’t like me. It wasn’t my dad though, it was the illness. There are so many ways it can present itself, it is different in everybody.”
Stella thanked everyone who has supported her and her dad, especially the carers from Care UK.
“Dad has been getting more and more stable and everything has been going really well,” she said.
The event on Tuesday, which runs from 9am until 8pm, will include free blood pressure checks, aerobic fitness tests and cholesterol checks. There will be a chance to sample heart-healthy food and collect some easy to follow recipe tips to use at home.
There will also be a raffle with a selection of prizes. Stella and her dad regularly attend Nuffield Health in Greenbridge and thanked the venue for helping them raise funds.
Rob King, general manager at Nuffield Health, said: “We do a lot of charity work in the community and we saw this as a great opportunity to help out.”
Ian Butler, co-director of Screaming Media, whose wife is a carer, has been helping out by creating and donating banners, posters, sponsor forms and flyers for Stella’s charity.
Daniel Moore, who is secretary of Don’t Be Like That Stella and director of Moore Computers, created Stella’s website.
For more information, visit www.dontbelikethatstella.co.uk.