RICHARD THOMPSON: Dementia is Britain’s biggest killer and something must be done… the cost of care, support and helping people must be a priority
- Surrey chairman Richard Thompson’s father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease
- He admits that the impact the illness had on his family was devastating
- Thompson wants to help prevent other families going through the same pain
I was sitting next to Dad at the Kia Oval, enjoying one of those special days that only a father and son could appreciate.
He turned to me and said: ‘Why are all these people here to watch Surrey?’ I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry that Dad didn’t feel Surrey could sell out the Oval or that this was in fact England v Australia in a Test.
I was scared. There had been signs: keys going missing, names forgotten, but this was different.
Surrey Cricket chairman Richard Thompson’s father suffered from Alzheimer’s disease
Dad never forgot anything about sport. Sport had shaped his life, as it has mine.
This was a defining moment I would never forget. Dad had Alzheimer’s disease.
Without Alzheimer’s Society, the path my family were about to go down would have been significantly harder.
Early diagnosis was key. But the journey was at times impossible. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your hero, your dad, the man you most revere, become someone you cannot even recognise.
Dementia is Britain’s biggest killer. The impact on families is devastating.
Thompson wants to help prevent other families going through the same pain that his did
Something needs to be done. What Sportsmail is doing could be a game-changer. The cost of care, support and helping people lead the best lives they can with dementia must be a priority.
One person every three minutes develops dementia. This is a time bomb and I am proud to have helped found Alzheimer’s Society’s Sport United Against Dementia and be its chair. I am determined we will make a difference and leave a legacy.
This is a unique chance to spearhead change. We all intend to make a difference and help families not have to go through what my family did.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: SPORTSMAIL’S CAMPAIGN TO TACKLE DEMENTIA
Richard Thompson is Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador and Chairman of Sport United Against Dementia, a pioneering Alzheimer’s Society fundraising and awareness campaign.
Visit alzheimers.org.uk/SUAD to find out more. Dementia Connect support line number: 0333 150 3456