Paul and Maggie
Paul was the life and soul of any party, the first to get up to dance and the last to leave, with Maggie, his wife of 14 years, by his side. They were the best of friends throughout their 29-year relationship which was filled with nonstop talking.
However, at just 50 years old Paul started having issues with his vocabulary and communicating. Conversations were different to how they’d always been. Maggie knew there was a problem. Seeking answers, she went to Google to find a reason for his symptoms. After coming across dementia as a possible cause she just knew that was what Paul had and they sought medical advice. Two years after Paul’s language issues began, and several trips to different doctors, he received a diagnosis of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) at the age of just 52.
Paul had led an active and full life with Maggie, his 2 daughters from a previous marriage, three grandchildren and another on the way. He was lucky enough to walk both daughters down the aisle before dementia took away his mobility. When the girls were young, the family enjoyed special holidays and visited Disney Florida and Paris amongst others. Later Maggie and Paul travelled the world to far flung places like Australia, India and China, living life to the fullest. They even witnessed the northern lights while on an arctic cruise.
Paul held various jobs over the years, not least as sous chef to Maggie on Sunday mornings before lunch. He was a qualified carpenter and twice a pub landlord, which really suited his sociable nature. He was a huge lover of sport, with football being his favourite. He captained Wales at school football level a few times and continued to play and manage at a local level until his health’s decline. There were few places Maggie and Paul could go without someone knowing him from either work or sport.
Wanting to turn a difficult diagnosis and illness into a positive, Maggie and Paul felt they would like to support dementia research. They had lots of open conversations about what that may look like. A decision was made to generously donate Paul’s brain to the South West Dementia Brain Bank. A chance for Paul’s legacy to live on and to support vital research, that one day could mean a cure for dementia.
Paul and Maggie also fundraised for the brain bank in various ways during Paul’s lifetime, even walking up the highest mountain in Wales together.
But sadly, at the age of just 58, at the end of 2022, Paul passed away with FTD. Maggie, who had already began training for the London Marathon in April 2023, is now running in memory of Paul. With Paul’s photo on Maggie’s running top and funds kindly being raised for the Brain Bank. Maggie is running to help support the vital work that takes place there, and to ensure that Paul’s donation can live on in the world, enabling vital research that brings us ever closer to treatments and a cure for dementia
We wish Maggie the best of luck on Sunday 23rd April. BRACE will be right there on the sidelines cheering her on.
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£5 could help Laura prepare and transport tissue samples to researchers.
£15 could provide the tools to map 10,000 genes.
£38 could fund a full hour of vital work at the Brain Bank, which underpins research to find a cure for dementia.