Trekking 26 miles for Mum: Suzanne’s Story

As part of our ongoing partnership with Alzheimer’s Society for their 2022 Trek26 Series, we wanted to highlight the stories of some of the participants of this, and previous year’s treks.  Here is Suzanne’s story.  

Suzanne with her mother, Barbara Anne Parker (09/03/1938 to 10/12/2021)

Suzanne’s Mum Barbara was diagnosed with dementia in August 2019, just one month after her dad passed away. Realising she could combine her love of the outdoors with a way to stay fit and raise money for Alzheimer’s Society at the same time, Suzanne talks about undertaking her second Trek26 challenge this June. 

“Before her diagnosis, Mum was a chatty little thing who enjoyed church, organising days out for the ladies group at the church – for the ‘old ladies’ as mum used to say – although she was in her late 70's herself!!! Once mum was diagnosed she deteriorated rapidly, from forgetting words to not being able to read, not being able to write. Simple everyday things that we all take for granted. She had withdrawn into herself had no confidence, didn’t want to go out. She would panic about the slightest thing. Not recognising places or general household things became an everyday occurrence.” 

Suzanne decided that she wanted to do something to support her Mum and others affected by dementia, so last August alongside her friends, she took on the Alzheimer’s Society’s Trek26 in the Lake District; one of five Trek26 fundraising challenges across the country. 

Suzanne takes on Trek26 Lake District in June 2021

“I did the Ullswater trek last year with a couple of friends. It was a really lovely walk though it was a very rainy day.” But the weather didn’t stop her, and Suzanne and her friends managed to complete their Trek26 challenge and Suzanne raised £385 in the process. 

“I have done charity walks for a number of years now and I really enjoy the experience of walking with like-minded people, all doing the walks for their own personal reasons. This year I am doing the Trek26 Lake District Ullswater 13 mile trek in June. At the moment I am walking alone – I’m still waiting for friends to decide if they are joining me. But what I’ve found on these walks is that you are never alone - there are always lots of people there to chat and share your experiences with”. 

Sadly, Suzanne’s mum lost her fight with dementia at the end of last year, but thanks to the 10,000 people taking on an Alzheimer’s Society Trek26 challenge this year, over £3million  will be raised to provide life-changing dementia support to people affected by dementia. 

How you can get involved 

This year there are Trek26 events taking place in breath-taking locations across the UK from the Lake District to South Devon Coast. It’s not too late to sign up to take on your own 13 or 26 mile Trek26 challenge!  You'll join hundreds of others who are also walking to stop dementia in its tracks. Use code REGATTA22 for a 20% off your registration fee. Sign up today 

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