Why we chose this campaign…
Approximately 86,000 people currently live with dementia in Scotland, with over 3,000 under the age of 65. It is expected the number of people with dementia will increase significantly in the next 20 years. Sadly, the care and supportive available for people with dementia, particularly those under 65 varies.
We chose to work with The Frank Kopel Dementia Awareness Campaign and fundraise on their behalf with the TMT challenge to help raise the awareness of the campaign and the excellent work they are doing aiming to improve the specific care services for people suffering from dementia and their families.
Frank Kopel lived a life of good health and fitness, something he strongly believed in but sadly when he was stricken with this horrendous illness the support for him, Amanda and their family was limited. Amanda and her team are working extremely hard to improve the quality of life for other dementia sufferers and their families.
So when trying to decide what charity to work with for our TMT challenge The Frank Kopel Dementia Awareness Campaign stuck out. They are a local charity, a small charity and both Stephen (Dale, Director of Good Health and Fitness) and I believe it is a cause that does not get much public attention compared to some of the other bigger charities. It is also an illness that has affected us indirectly as well as many other families throughout Scotland. Listening to Amanda’s story and her personal experience reinforced our decision to help them raise awareness and as much money as we can through the Good Health and Fitness Transform Me Training Challenge 2015!
In Amanda’s words….
We had to fight for it as everything was geared up for the over 65s…..and it took us many many months to get help by which time Frankie was deteriorating…..certain government departments put so many obstacles in our way throughout Frankies illness…..some just didn’t understand, or even believe a young person could have dementia…..even the people who were eventually sent to help had no experience of a younger person with dementia….They ticked a box, because that’s what it said in their books that they should do with ANYONE elderly with Alzheimer’s or Dementia……What they didn’t understand was that every person is an individual and that dementia is a disease of the brain….it is no respecter of age, creed or colour….
The campaign has highlighted the DISCRIMINATION against these young people, who through no fault of their own have been diagnosed with an incurable disease. They have lost their jobs, their income, they haven’t reached pension age, their family member has probably given up their job to care for their loved one, they may still have children at school college or university……there are no facilities for the younger people at day cares, respite etc….everything is geared up for the older person……films, songs, memory boxes etc from the 1920s…30s…and 40s…….Frankie was only born in 1949, so all these things meant nothing to him….