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By Beth Sharp Thursday 14 August 2014 Updated: 20/08 00:59
A BROMSGROVE woman inspired by her step-father's condition is embarking on a mammoth fund-raiser to increase awareness of dementia.
Katie Sharp-Fisher, who works for Bromsgrove District and Redditch Borough councils, has planned a 310-mile charity cycle from Vietnam to Cambodia and intends to make a number of stops along the way for fund-raising events.
The 32-year-old, who will be leaving on February 18 to do the eight-day ride, has raised £435 but needs to reach at least £3,500 before she embarks on her journey. She has, however set herself a target of £5,000.
Katie is planning to tell her step-dad Dave's story of how he is affected by rapid progressive dementia at just 60-years-old.
She is hoping by sharing Dave's tale she can give a lifeline to other people in similar situations and show them there is light at the end of the tunnel, they just need to find it.
Katie said it first began on a family holiday in Turkey when Dave collapsed and slipped into a coma, leaving him in a hospital, abroad, for a fortnight.
"From when Dave went into a coma it was a living hell for us all - not knowing what was happening or what to do," she added.
Katie said how he was not able to speak and how without a diagnosis they had all been sent back to the UK in a special intensive care jet.
Once home, Dave was sent to the North Staffs Neurological Hospital for three months and was eventually diagnosed with dementia.
Katie said when she and her family visited her step-father there would be such joy in his face and his eyes would light up when he saw them and they told him they loved him.
She added: "But that was all we had with him.
"The man who once would never burp in front of me, who was such a true gentlemen, was asking me to take him to the toilet."
Eventually Katie and her family found him a place in a nursing home.
"It is an awesome place - they take him out to the pub, have day trips - but we know there is no chance he will come home or get better - this essentially still young man, my step-dad.
"Now I know everyone has a story and we all face day-to-day battles.
"Dave’s story is not over - it's only just beginning.
"I can't find a cure for Dave - but I have to do something.
"So the best thing I can do to help is a mammoth fund-raiser to help raise awareness of dementia, the care which is out there for patients and their families and for research into diagnosing and slowing down this awful disease," she added.
To follow Katie's journey and Dave's story visit http://camdokatie.wordpress.com/ to see her blog.
Or, visit www.justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/davesstory to sponsor Katie and her cause.
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