Swaffham woman with rare disorder to take on dementia memory walk in honour of her mother

Rebecca Ward with her parents, Irene and Bunny Lince. Irene, 83, was diagnosed with dementia five ye

Rebecca Ward with her parents, Irene and Bunny Lince. Irene, 83, was diagnosed with dementia five years ago. Picture: Rebecca Ward - Credit: Archant

A woman with a rare condition is set to take on an 11-mile walk in honour of her mother who has dementia.

Rebecca Ward, 49, from Swaffham was born with a growth disorder known as Russell-Silver syndrome, causing the left side of her body to grow larger than her right and leaving her with pain in her back and hip.

But she is determined to overcome her condition to take part in the Memory Walk at Norfolk Showground on September 30.

It has been organised by the Alzheimer's Society to raise money for research and services. Over 600 people have already registered to take part.

Ms Ward, who lived in Dereham for several years, will be joined by her daughter, Katy Bulldeath, 27, and soon-to-be daughter in law, Kayley Woodhouse, 21.

'When I first signed up for it, I thought it would be shorter than it is,' said Ms Ward. 'But they called me and told me there was a choice between a short and long route and Katy and Kayley persuaded me to do the full 11 miles.'

Ms Ward has wanted to take part because her mother, Irene Lince, 83, was diagnosed with dementia five years ago.

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'I told her about it but she doesn't remember. When I first told her she laughed and said she'd never walk that far but sadly five minutes after she'd forgotten. Now we only speak about things that happened during the day, she doesn't remember anything in the past,' she said.

'She was very clever before. She had her own business and she did all the finances in the house. Now she can't really read or write. She makes out she can but I can tell she struggles.'

Ms Ward says she is doing the walk not only for her mum and the 225,000 people who are diagnosed with the condition each year, but also for the families who support them.

'Dementia is very hard to explain to people. Unless you are living with someone who has it you don't know what it is like because in some ways it is not the person with the dementia that is affected but the people around them.

'This has completely changed my dad's life but for my mum she doesn't feel anything is different. She knows she's got dementia but she isn't really aware of effects.'

To sponsor Rebecca Ward's Memory Walk you can donate to her on Just Giving.

You can also register to take part in the walk by going to the Memory Walk website.