Dementia Information Dementia Stories Gideon Luke Gideon Luke of The Marketing Department, Weston-Super-Mare, tells the very personal story behind his decision to make an appeal video as a gift for BRACE. The video will be released online in late September. Not so long ago, my father passed away after eight long hard years suffering dementia. For six of those years, my aged mother was there supporting him day and night as dementia took more and more of him away from us and more of us away from him. He had been a Captain in the Merchant Navy and travelled all of the seven seas, transporting chemicals and materials in a super-tanker. He’d visited some of the most interesting places on earth and survived tsunamis as well as all sorts of other natural dangers at sea, while ensuring that his crew were safe and that the complex cargo was in no danger. They respected his judgement, followed his orders and he was highly regarded amongst his peers for his expertise and experience. When he came home he’d bring things he thought would delight me and he’d tell me tales of where he’d been and things he had seen – the world sounded so big and amazing to me as a youngster and deeply interesting as I grew up hearing more about it. Occasionally he’d phone from wherever he was, and I remember one particular instance, hearing steel drums in the background while he was visiting Bermuda – lucky for some I thought! The downside, of course, was that his job took him away from us for long periods and sometimes when we needed him most. How ironic that at the end of his life, when he was always home, dementia had taken him away from us forever. Having read many books on the subject to try and understand his condition better, the point which had the most impact on me was, that despite a familiar glint in his eye, he was quickly forgetting the life he had lead travelling the world, the amazing places he had been and loving family he had. Just like someone had deleted it. I can’t really conceive of how that must have felt for him, but I know what it is to have a parent affected by such a dreadful disease and sincerely hope, with the scientists and technologies that now exist, that we’re moving increasingly closer to a cure – and that’s why I think BRACE is important. Their scientists’ brains are working on a cure for our loved ones’ brains, our parents' brains and our brothers' and sisters' brains, so one day it can be beaten. Time's up dementia.