Devoted daughter to help charity with yoga wear
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Heather says her family was devastated at the diagnosis which left him confused, withdrawn and frustrated.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 bakasana.co.uk or see www. facebook. com/ BakasanaActivewear/.
Heather Lawrence with the Forget-Me-Not yoga pants. Above right, her father John