De­voted daugh­ter to help char­ity with yoga wear

Glossop Advertiser - - Front Page - Neal Keel­ing

ADEVOTED daugh­ter who lost her dad to Alzheimer’s is hop­ing yoga fans will give her fundrais­ing ef­forts a leg-up.

Heather Lawrence’s fa­ther John had been suf­fer­ing with the con­di­tion for some time when he died last year aged 90.

When the for­mer sailor­turned-pen­sion ad­viser first be­came ill, pho­tog­ra­pher Heather and her mum Vi looked af­ter him at home in Mot­tram, which meant she was un­able to do a reg­u­lar job.

De­ter­mined to keep busy whilst also car­ing for him, she started a small busi­ness de­sign­ing yoga pants by us­ing some of her pho­tographs to cre­ate fab­ric prints.

Now she has made a spe­cial Forget-Me-Not themed pair which she hopes will help her raise much-needed cash for two Alzheimer’s char­i­ties.

The 53-year-old said: “My mum and dad were mar­ried for 66 years and had four chil­dren and grand­chil­dren.

“At first we didn’t re­alise he was ill, we just thought it was old age.

“But when mum and dad went on a cruise to­gether one year he got very con­fused and told the crew his wife wasn’t on board. That’s when we re­alised it was some­thing more se­ri­ous.”

Heather says her fam­ily was dev­as­tated at the di­ag­no­sis which left him con­fused, with­drawn and frus­trated.

“One mo­ment he thought he was on a cruise, the next he thought he was in a prison camp and wanted to know what he had done wrong,” she said. On one oc­ca­sion he thought there were chick­ens in his room, an­other time it was mon­keys. It was so hard.

“Six years af­ter his di­ag­no­sis it all be­came too much for us and he went for what was to be a short respite.

“It was heart-break­ing be­cause he didn’t set­tle and his con­di­tion wors­ened, which re­sulted in him be­ing sec­tioned un­der the Men­tal Health Act.

“The care he re­ceived was amaz­ing, not only did they un­der­stand but they even­tu­ally got him set­tled enough to move on to a care home. Af­ter his death I de­cided I had to do some­thing to try to help other fam­i­lies in the same sit­u­a­tion and help with the re­search side of things too.

“It’s a ter­ri­ble thing for the suf­fer­ers and those who love and care for them – some­thing I wouldn’t wish on any­one.”

Heather is do­nat­ing all the prof­its from the sale of the Forget-Me-Not leg­gings to the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety & Alzheimer’s Re­search UK.

To find out more or sup­port her fundrais­ing drive, go to her web­site or see www. face­book. com/ BakasanaAc­tivewear/.

Heather Lawrence with the Forget-Me-Not yoga pants. Above right, her fa­ther John

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