Capel woman made Champion of dementia charity for tireless support

Rosemary Goddard
Rosemary Goddard

A Capel woman has been made a Champion of a leading dementia charity in recognition for her ‘exceptional’ support following her husband’s diagnosis.

Rosemary Goddard joins a small but growing group of 23 Champions who have gone above and beyond to help Alzheimer’s Research UK’s mission to defeat the disease.

The 65-year-old explained: “These last seven years have been very difficult but doing something positive to support Alzheimer’s Research UK really helps.

“I don’t feel I deserve this recognition or that I’ve done as much as I would like, but it’s nice to know the charity appreciates what I’ve done and I’m proud to receive this accolade.”

Rosemary’s husband, Tony, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007, aged just 63.

Since then, Rosemary has been inspired to raise awareness and much-needed money and has involved her family, friends and local community and between them have raised over £10,000.

Rebecca Wood, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are delighted to make Rosemary a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK – she has shown such enthusiasm in her support for the charity and she truly deserves this honour.

“Rosemary is always willing to help us make the case for dementia research, and this is our way of showing our appreciation for her hard work and dedication.”

Up until two years ago, Rosemary looked after Tony at their home, which doubles as a successful bed and breakfast, but now he receives 24-hour attention at a nursing home.

She said: “Tony does not communicate with us anymore and hardly seems to recognise family members, but there’s been no real deterioration over the past year and he seems very happy in his own world.

“He worked on our dairy farm for 35 years and shortly after he retired, his health started to decline. Always a practical man, I noticed he wasn’t paying attention to even the simplest tasks.

“He became withdrawn and didn’t want to discuss things,” she added. “When the diagnosis came he was in denial.”

Rebecca Wood praised Rosemary’s dedication to helping people understand the reality of early-onset Alzheimer’s. She added: “Her fundraising and promotion of research is a real asset, helping to bring better forms of diagnosis, preventions, new treatments and a cure ever closer.”

But despite all her efforts, Rosemary remains modest:“It really has been a family effort and they deserve this recognition as much as I do.”

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