Wiltshire Publications

Westbury woman takes on epic walking challenge to beat dementia

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A WESTBURY woman is embarking on a gruelling charity challenge in memory of her late father who died from dementia.  

Westbury woman takes on epic walking challenge to beat dementia

Kimberley Curtis is preparing for a 26-mile trek across the Brecon Beacons on July 2nd in support of Alzheimer’s Society’s vital work. 

She will be one of thousands of people taking part in the event after witnessing the devastating impact of dementia first-hand, after she lost her beloved dad to the condition on Boxing Day last year. 

“Dementia is a very cruel disease,” she says. “To see the hero who had always looked after me and I’d looked up to, slowly waste away in front of me was truly heartbreaking. If it meant walking 26-miles a million times, I’d do it to help other people to avoid having to go through it. 

“As time goes by, you lose them that little bit more every day. My dad was always a very smart and proud man but as the illness took over, he didn’t care about his appearance, which he would have hated. Eventually the condition also took away his ability to speak which I found devastating.” 

While Kimberley’s parents split when she was less than a year old, her father Derek ‘Tut’ Rendell was always a huge presence in her life. 

“I’m my dad’s only child and we were always incredibly close despite not living together,” she says. “We spent weekends and holidays together and I will always treasure my memories of those precious times.” 

When Derek, who was from Yeovil, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Kimberley had an annex built in her back garden so he could move in. 

He spent the last six years of his life there being looked after by Kimberley and her family, before he passed away at the age of 88. Kimberley, who works as a cleaner, will take part in the tough expedition on July 2nd. 

Hoping to raise £1,500, she will trek through a spectacular area of wild moorland, tumbling waterfalls and sweeping mountain slopes in the Brecon Beacons. 

Kimberly said, “I’ve never done anything like this before and it is going to be a real test for me. I walk my dog every day and enjoy it, but this is something very different. I’m determined to help Alzheimer’s Society try and beat this dreadful condition. I’ve had huge backing from my friends and family, and I want to do them proud.  Most importantly, I want my dad to look down and say, ‘That’s my girl’.” 

Kimberley will join thousands of determined fundraisers taking on a 13- or 26-mile trek at various Trek26 events across the UK this summer, including Stonehenge on September 3rd.  

Kelly Inwood, Alzheimer’s Society area manager for Wiltshire said, “We would like to thank Kimberley and all of our amazing fundraisers who are taking part in a Trek26 event for us this summer.  

“Money raised will help Alzheimer’s Society reach and support more people through our vital services, which have been lifeline for so many people. 

“We’re calling on people from across Wiltshire to go the distance and don their boots for a Trek26 challenge in 2022. Every pound raised will help Alzheimer’s Society provide vital information and support, improve care, fund research and create lasting change for people affected by the condition. 

“We are in awe of the resilience of supporters like Kimberley whose dedication to fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society ensures that we are able to support those who need it most.” 

To sign up for an epic 13- or 26-mile trek in one of various breath-taking locations around the UK this summer, including Stonehenge and the Cotswolds, visit alzheimers.org.uk/T rek26  

Kimberly has currently raised £1,270. To sponsor Kimberley visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Kimberley-Curtis1?utm_campaign

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