Hairdresser Tilly Hewitt is taking on the Royal Parks Half Marathon this Sunday (October 14) to raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK after watching her 62-year-old mum deteriorate with dementia.
Tilly and her three sisters, from Barnet, look after their mum Laura around the clock as she needs help to do everyday tasks such as wash and clothe herself. Her condition has gradually deteriorated since she was diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) five years ago, at the age of just 57.
PCA is a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease that damages the part of the brain that makes sense of what the eyes are seeing. Those living with PCA usually experience problems with their vision, such as blurred vision, light sensitivity and issues with colour, depth and distance perception.
Tilly, who juggles caring for her mum with her work, has been training for the half marathon throughout the summer.
She said: “I’m running Royal Parks because I want to raise as much money and awareness for a charity that is so close to me and my family’s hearts.”
The 25-year-old is passionate about raising awareness of her mum’s condition and the impact it has had on her family and contributes to a dedicated Instagram account following her mum’s day-to-day life while living with dementia: @dayinthelifeoflaws
She has had to watch her mum go from being a bubbly, independent woman who was the “life and soul of every party” to someone who needs 24-hour support.
Tilly said: “Mum used to be a woman who would light up every room she walked into with her energetic and positive personality. But PCA means she can’t even do simple tasks such as dress herself in the morning, find and go to the toilet, recognise her daughters or even make a cup of tea like she used to.
“That is why I want to raise money for dementia research so other people don’t have to watch their loved ones go through what my family is going through now.”
Tilly hopes to raise £1,000 from the half marathon which she is running with her best friend Jenny on Sunday. To sponsor her visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tilly-hewitt