A Rasen fundraiser and dementia campaigner is in the national limelight following publication of his story in a women’s magazine.
Steve Boryszczuk’s heartbreaking story of the loss of his wife Michelle at the age of just 44 from Alzheimer’s is the subject of a two-page feature in this week’s ‘Take a Break’.
Michelle first showed signs of early onset dementia at the age of 36.
Her father Tony died of early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 46, as had his mother, at the age of 45.
The magazine article focuses on the life Steve and Michelle had together, since marrying at the age of 17 and 16, and the devastation felt by the dementia diagnosis.
Steve said: “I was proud to have done the piece, but it was also very emotional to see it in print.
“It brings back lots of memories - to be honest it has been 10 years of hell since Michelle was diagnosed.”
However, Steve has turned this very negative time in his life into a positive, by becoming well known for his adventurous fundraising activities and his campaign to make people more aware of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
“It is important to do everything I can to make people aware of Alzheimer’s in young people as well as older people,” said Steve.
“We have set up a local support group to help raise awareness, as well as to give support and help to anyone who has been given a diagnosis or who is living with dementia.”
As previously reported, Steve will be taking on a 160km trek through Bhutan this October later this year to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
He will be accompanied by friend Tony Butler who will be raising money for the Children’s Hospital Charity.
“Michelle and I always dreamed about travelling when the kids were older, but sadly that wasn’t to happen,” added Steve.
“So I decided to fulfil her dreams and visit places on her bucket list.
“This trek will be the last one in her memory.”
Closer to home, Steve has organised a Defeat Dementia Walk at Market Rasen’s racecourse for September 3 and he is hoping people will sign up to take part.
There will be a choice of two walks - six miles and four miles; both walks start at 11am.
The registration fee is £10 per person and registration is at www.justgiving.com/marketrasenwalk
Facts and stats from ARUK
Dementia itself is not a disease – it’s actually caused by lots of different diseases. The word is an umbrella term for the symptoms caused by these diseases - memory loss, confusion and personality change.
There has been a 56% rise in the number of people diagnosed with dementia from 2010/11 to 2015/16. There are currently 517,426 in the UK with a dementia diagnosis.
The economic impact of dementia is greater than cancer, heart disease and stroke.