On Thursday 10 October Alzheimer’s Society fundraiser Hannah Mackay visited Dr Gabriel Balmus at UK DRI at Cambridge, to see the pioneering research taking place at the centre. The visit was part of Hannah’s ‘Dementia Journey’ challenge around the UK to raise money for fighting early onset dementia.
In 2017, Hannah’s dad was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia. The life of the whole family has been transformed and the strong genetic component means Hannah is at high risk herself, unless treatments can be developed. Despite these tough circumstances, Hannah was inspired to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society and those trying to find therapeutics, putting herself forward for a series of challenges.
As part of this mission, Hannah completed the national 3 peaks challenge, a sky dive and 10 challenges over 10 days. These included the world’s fastest zip wire, canoeing part of a Scottish canal, sailing a yacht and completing the London Marathon Memory Walk.
Nearing the end of the ‘Dementia Journey’, Hannah visited Dr Gabriel Balmus at the UK DRI at Cambridge. Gabriel investigates mechanisms that repair damaged DNA in our cells. As we age, these mechanisms become dysfunctional and may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases associated with dementia. Gabriel is working to find treatments to stop this with the aim of slowing or halting progression of these devastating conditions.
We would like to thank Hannah for her fundraising efforts, visiting us at the centre and learning more about the research taking place. You can still donate to Hannah’s campaign on her JustGiving page.
Watch a short video from Hannah’s visit below