Young de­men­tia suf­ferer aims to live life to the full

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Helping Others - By Sam Len­non

A woman dy­ing of de­men­tia, who is not even 50, is join­ing a char­ity walk to help other suf­fer­ers this week­end.

She has also writ­ten to Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron call­ing for test­ing for 30- to 50-year-olds for the con­di­tion, which is usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with the el­derly.

Lo­rayne Mi­na­han was di­ag­nosed with early-on­set de­men­tia in April, just a month af­ter her 49th birth­day.

She will join the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety Kent Mem­ory Walk on Satur­day at Leeds Castle.

Doc­tors have told her she has only two to eight years to live but she is de­ter­mined to make the most of life and will marry her fiance, Si­mon Burgess, at Willes­bor­ough Wind­mill on her 50th birth­day next March.

Mr Burgess, 44, a ma­chine oper- ator, orig­i­nally lived in Sin­gle­ton un­til he moved to Lydd with Miss Mi­na­han five years ago.

She said: “I want to raise aware­ness of this con­di­tion as de­men- tia is the third big­gest killer in the UK af­ter can­cer and heart dis­ease.

“Peo­ple think it’s an ill­ness for the old but I have heard of peo­ple as young in their 30s get­ting it.”

Miss Mi­na­han went to see her doc­tor af­ter notic­ing early symp­toms such as for­get­ful­ness and mis­plac­ing items in the house.

She said: “Be­ing di­ag­nosed at such as young age came as a huge shock to my fam­ily and my­self. It was dev­as­tat­ing for us all.

“One of the hard­est things for me is how my de­men­tia has made it more dif­fi­cult to look af­ter my grand­son.

“Luck­ily my son and daugh­ter are great and sup­port me all they can at home.

“I am de­ter­mined to life live to the full, though.

“I am tak­ing part in the Mem­ory Walk with all my fam­ily and I will do it ev­ery year as long as I can.

More than 23,000 peo­ple are liv­ing with de­men­tia in Kent

The Kent Mem­ory Walk is one of sev­eral be­ing or­gan­ised by the Alzheimer’s So­ci­ety na­tion­wide through­out Septem­ber.

Lo­rayne Mi­na­han, 49, of Lydd, a young de­men­tia suf­ferer with her 12-month-old grand­son Bradon

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