Best feet - and paws - forward for 100km task
Shane Crampton and her dog Dime Bag are walking 100km for Dementia UK
24th March 2021
By Warren Wilkins
A Newquay woman is raising money and awareness for a dementia charity in the hope that other people do not have to go through the challenges her family has had to endure.
Shane Crampton is taking part in Dementia UK’s 100km nationwide March dog-walking challenge.
The mother of four did not know the charity existed when her 82-year-old father was diagnosed with the illness.
She had to make special arrangements for him to be flown from his home in Spain to come and live with her family in Newquay after he started losing his memory.
Shane believes it would help people who find themselves in the same situation to know about the charity, which provides “Admiral Nurses” who give support to families.
She has so far completed 40km of her walk around Newquay with her dog, Dime Bag, and raised more than £800.
Shane said: “My dad no longer knows who I am.
“When he started to develop the illness we did not realise there was more help and support available.
“He was living in Spain on his own and we only saw him every couple of years. He came to my wedding in Newquay four years ago and got lost the night before. This is a man who has travelled the world on his own.
“My mum spoke to him, his ex-wife, and they do not get on. When she walked away my dad said ‘she seems like a nice lady’.
“I knew then that something wasn’t right.
“We got more and more reports from his friends in Spain about how he might be struggling so we flew him over.
“We did not really have the space for him as I have four children so he slept on the couch.
“He thought I was his landlady and it took up a lot of time to care for him properly. He kept going walkabout in Newquay and getting lost and we would get phone calls to come and get him.
“Cornwall Council was really helpful and the doctors were great as well. He told the doctors he thought it was 1982.
“He is now in a specialist dementia care home in Par. We had to get a power of attorney to sell his house in Spain to pay for his care.
“It was incredibly tough to live through and watch him struggle. It’s the most mentally challenging thing I have ever done in my life. Particularly when it became obvious that he didn’t know who I was any more. It was heartbreaking.
“So, I’m walking 100km with my dog to raise funds for Dementia UK. I didn’t know about them then and I really wish I had.
“I’d like other families to know they can access them if they need to and get support, or even just use their phone help line.
“They aren’t government funded so rely solely on donations.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to Shane can visit her Facebook fund-raising page or telephone 07730 580653.