We’re burying my granddad today.
He was 86 years old, served on navy minesweepers during the Second World War, and then went on to become a schoolteacher.
He owned the first computer I ever got my hands on (a Commodore 64), and took me and my brother on holiday to Wales every summer where I learned how to swim and how to ride a bike.
And in his late seventies, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Over the last few years he lost his active lifestyle and forceful personality, ending up as a shadow of his former self.
Because that’s what Alzheimer’s Disease does to people. It takes away their memories, their personality and their character. It takes away the things that make them who they are.
It’s a terrible, spiteful disease that affects nearly half a million people in the UK. And because it mainly affects those unglamorous elderly folk, it gets nowhere as near as much funding or publicity as diseases like cancer.
So I’d like to ask the people who read this blog, for free, to donate a few quid (say £3 – the price of a pint of lager) to the Alzheimer’s Society.
You don’t have to make a song and dance about it. You don’t have to tell me whether you did or you didn’t, and you don’t have to donate if you can’t spare the change.
But if you could go one drink short this weekend, and give a couple of pounds to a really deserving cause, I’d really appreciate it. Because those hundreds of thousands of people living with this condition need your help.