Mum leads way as thousands step out for charity
AMUM-OF-TWO with dementia led 6,000 people in a walk for charity.
Sarah Park from Milnrow – diagnosed with dementia at the age of just 39 – led more than 6,000 walkers on their way on Saturday, September 29 at Manchester Memory Walk.
Accompanied by her husband Richard and Coronation Street star Richard Hawley, she cut the ribbon to start the event, the biggest held by the Alzheimer’s Society anywhere in the country.
She said: “It’s really brilliant to see thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds from the Greater Manchester area uniting against dementia in such a magnificent way.
“It was an honour to open such a special, very positive event which I know will raise vital funds for research to help scientists to find a cure and as well as raise awareness of the condition.”
More than 29,500 people are already living with dementia in Greater Manchester.
Sarah aims to bring attention to the rights of people with dementia and prove it’s possible ‘to live life to the full’ after a dementia diagnosis.
Forgetful instances that Richard noticed in the last couple of years turned into her own diagnosis of dementia. Her dad died of Alzheimer’s at the age of 40 and her grandmother also developed dementia.
Sarah, who had to leave her job as senior cardiac physiologist for the NHS, said: “I don’t see my dementia diagnosis as the end of the world.
“I was devastated to start with but I’ve kind of got over that now. There’s plenty more left of me yet. I’m enjoying life on a dayby-day basis I’ve got plenty to give my community.”
As well as helping to raise awareness of the walk Sarah has smashed her own fundraising target several times over and is now heading for the £2,000 mark for the charity.
Sarah hopes her work will help dementia sufferers in the future.
She said: “I wish to make the best of my situation and be positive, to raise money for research to help find a cure for this horrible disease.
“Although I will most likely not benefit from any future treatment, I want to contribute to finding a ●●Sarah Park cuts the ribbon to start the Manchester Memory Walk with Coronation Street star Richard Hawley and her husband Richard Park cure for people with dementia in the near future, whilst I still can, which is why I’m supporting the Alzheimer’s Society.”
To sponsor Sarah, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/team-sparky
●●Pictures by Chris Bull
●●Thousands of participants line up for the beginning of the walk
●●Star guest Richard Hawley hands out medals to the participants at the end of the walk
●●Nathan Horsfield (left) and Antony Radcliffe dress to impress
●●Emma Roberts with daughter Emmeline Barron, three
●●Two walkers reach the finish line
●●Donna Lancashire and Grace Lancashire, 10, took part in the even