On day 34, while playing Australian Survivor, I got a phone call from home that my Mum had passed away.
My very reason for playing Survivor was for my family. We've experienced some really tough times health-wise which has made me realise that nothing in life is guaranteed and to make the most of every moment and opportunity because we don’t know what’s around the corner.
My Mum was 46 when she was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia or FTD. FTD is the name given to dementia when it's due to progressive damage to the frontal and/or temporal lobes of the brain. In just a few years she deteriorated so fast that by the end she lived in a high care facility, was immobile, non-verbal, couldn’t shower or feed herself and was permanently in a wheel chair. Her quality of life and suffering towards the end was terrible and so hard to watch.
Anyone who’s experienced losing a loved one to dementia would understand me when I say that I’ve been grieving her passing for the last six years. Mum was there physically but it was as if her body had been hi-jacked. Her whole personality had changed, there was a loss of empathy and emotional response. The Mum I knew as strong, caring, funny, creative and beautiful both inside and out was slowly being taken away by this disease.
In light of this situation I’d like to shine a light on early onset dementia and in particular FTD. I’ve created this gofundme to raise money with all proceeds going to Dementia Australia and The Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science . Any donation big or small will be a great help. Unfortunately, I can’t change the past, but with your help we can try to make the future better for those effected by FTD.