Sally Chapman from Chudleigh celebrated her birthday this year by having her head shaved to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.
Sally, who turned 55, was inspired by her father who had vascular dementia.
In the build up to her head shave, Sally raised over £1300 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, which powers world-class studies focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatments for dementia. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this number is expected to rise to over 1 million by 2025.
Sally says “When my dad was diagnosed with vascular dementia, I imagined a little "fizz" in his brain rubbing out a little bit at a time; and that's how we lost him - a little bit at a time. It wasn't just his memory or cognitive ability though, his personality changed over the years before his death in November 2014, just before my 50th birthday.”
“Dad had worked as a civil engineer, building roads in Africa and then for Torbay and Devon County Council. He loved clever ironic humour, introducing me to the Goons and Monty Python. His sense of humour changed; what he focused on changed; how he processed the world around him changed and then he just wasn't Dad any more, really. He looked like Dad but, the lovely clever man wasn't there any more. I miss my dad, and on my 55th birthday I had all my hair shaved off. Dad used to tease me that I looked like I have been "dragged through a hedge backwards" but as it's his hair I inherited, I think he would appreciate the sacrifice.”
Sally said “I was a little nervous as I have always had long hair but with the help of my DCC colleagues we plaited and saved my hair for Little Princess Trust to make wigs with and all the money raised goes to Alzheimer’s Research UK. Then the shaver came out to tidy up what remained and before I knew it was left with a whole new look! With a little lippy and right attitude, I’m told I rock and in any case it will soon grow. Yes, it’s a sacrifice but worth it for such an amazing cause and the hope of a better future without this horrid disease that took my father from me”
James Warren, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re so grateful to Sally for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK. Dementia affects a significant proportion of the population – one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of the condition. Fantastic fundraising efforts like this will help us to make life-changing research breakthroughs for people with dementia.”
To sponsor Sally visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sallyshave. 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