Devoted daughter Jessica Green is taking on a four-day ride with her horse Poppy to raise vital funds for dementia research in honour of her mum.
The 23-year-old from Bolsover decided to turn her love for riding into a fundraising challenge after her mum Jeannette was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, aged just 54.
She aims to complete the South Peak Loop, which starts and ends at Miller’s Dale, between March 1 and 4 and will be joined by her 17-year-old sister on a bike, for some of the journey.
Her grandma was also diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 49 and sadly passed away aged 60, so Jessica is passionate about raising awareness around dementia and funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
She said: “Things started with mum having a few incidents. She would forget where she put things and forget to pick my younger sister up from school.
“Things got worse over a period of four to five years – things went downhill pretty quickly and my dad had to move back in to support my mum. I moved home last March to help after she had memory tests at the beginning of the year. She refused to accept that there was something wrong at the time.”
Jessica explained things became worse when her mum wanted to leave the house late at night.
She added: “She wanted to go out at 10pm at night and I would not let her because she was quite a vulnerable person by that point. She then tried to put a dining room chair through the kitchen window to get out.
“At this point we sought help and mum was admitted to Chesterfield Hospital for a while in May and has since been moved to the Walton Centre where a team specialising in dementia care are looking after her.”
Jessica, who works with horses, has said she has seen improvements in her mum since she was admitted to hospital but felt compelled to take on the ride as both her and her mum share a love for horses and riding.
The self-employed groom said: “I can’t help her in any other way so by fundraising I feel like I’m contributing to making a difference in some way. My mum adored horses and learned to ride as soon as she was able at age 16. It was because of her that myself and my sisters all learned to ride and that I am now pursuing a career with horses.
“Mum also used to walk in the Peak District and so she would’ve loved the route I’ve chosen.”
If you would like to sponsor Jessica and help her reach her £600 target visit her fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jessica-green14
Matt Clarke, Alzheimer’s Research UK’s regional fundraising officer for East Midlands, said: “We are backing Jessica every step of the way in her fundraising ride for us and can’t thank her enough for sharing her own experience.
“It is essential that we raise awareness about this devastating disease and also raise vital funds to power world-class research into dementia.
“We would like to thank Jessica for her fundraising efforts, which are helping us edge closer every day to ending the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”
If you would like to get involved with fundraising or volunteering for Alzheimer’s Research UK contact Matt on 07584 657 587 or email email@example.com
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org