TV star Davina McCall had to fight back the tears on Saturday as she joined 2,500 people to unite against dementia at the Alzheimer’s Society Brighton Memory Walk.
Davina cut the ribbon to get the “heart-warming” charity walk under way at Hove Lawns on what proved to be an emotional occasion for the TV presenter whose dad, Andrew, who is living with dementia.
“Everyone is here walking home for someone,” said Davina as tears welled up in her eyes.
“Dad has Alzheimer’s and he is dealing with it all in the most positive way. He is just about the most inspirational man I have ever met and Dad tries to pass that positive attitude on to other people.
“We’re all here for someone we love and what is so special is that everyone is uniting today for them and raising funds, all while having a good time.”
Inspired by her dad, Davina has teamed up with Alzheimer’s Society to boost the UK’s leading dementia charity‘s flagship Memory Walk campaign which will raise money to improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.
Davina, most recently seen on TV screens presenting Long Lost Family and The Jump, added: “If I was to sum up Memory Walk in one word, I’d have to describe it as ‘heart-warming’. It doesn’t matter who you are, or how old you are, everyone is here.
“I love this walk. We came and did it last year as a family to support my dad and it’s amazing to be doing it all together again.
“It’s nice to see how far Memory Walk has come, and how many people are aware that it’s for Alzheimer’s disease so I’d like to thank you everyone for taking part.”
Davina was joined her mum Gaby and her dad, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last year at the age of 73, and he said: “I have Alzheimer’s and I try to make the best of it… You just try to carry on.”
Elisa Vaughan, Alzheimer’s Society operations manager for Sussex, said: “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer.
“I am so glad that people from across Sussex stepped out in their thousands to improve the lives of people living with dementia.
“We are committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research to improve care for people today and find a cure for tomorrow.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped make this year’s Memory Walk such a huge success.”
· For further information about Alzheimer’s Society including details about services, please visit alzheimers.org.uk