Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On the eve of the G8 Dementia Summit

I am feeling pensive. I've been thinking about why I'm still campaigning for more funding for dementia research after 8 years, which is a question I'm asked quite frequently. My answer is simply that I was so horrified by what happened to my mum that I had to speak out about it and try to change things as I can't bear to think of anyone else having to suffer the way she did. I could write so much about this but for now I need to focus on tomorrow.

Tomorrow is such a big day. It is the G8 Dementia Summit, which aims to develop co-ordinated global action on dementia.

I am willing it to be a success.

I've been blogging about it all over the place, looking at it from different perspectives - as a carer, as someone who watched her mother descend into the darkness of dementia, as a campaigner and fund-raiser.

I have piles of paper on my desk all covered in highlighted sections for when I'm interviewed so that I can ensure I get the salient points across. There are notes scribbled on scraps of paper from when I've been out running and had an idea. My head has been full of this event for months now.

I've read many articles but Simon's post today, referencing a speech made by Nelson Mandela really struck a chord. In fact it was just one sentence that I've been turning over in my mind: "The challenge is to move from rhetoric to action, and action at an unprecedented intensity and scale." Although he was talking about AIDS it applies equally in the battle against dementia.

Yesterday I spoke on the Channel 5 TV News about the link between diet and lifestyle on the risk of developing dementia. Tomorrow I shall be speaking on BBC radio, on 2 separate shows so far but there will probably be more, about what I hope will come out of the G8.

The G8 Summit in 2003 marked a turning point in the battle against AIDS by focussing international attention on the disease. My greatest wish is that events tomorrow will set the wheels in motion to put in place the same level of international commitment for dementia research.

Tomorrow is also the last numerically sequenced date this century 11/12/13. I'm hoping that is a good omen.

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