A man who has watched his mother’s devastating battle with dementia climbed Mount Fuji last month to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Ken Wright (47) from Bearsden supports this cause because his mother is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. As her condition has become worse, he has lost more and more of her.
Ken, head of broker development at AXA Insurance and father-of-two, said: “It’s heartbreaking for the friends and families of people with dementia.
“The worst part is how gradual it is and how you see that person you know and love slowly deteriorate.
“When we visit with the kids sometimes my mum doesn’t always know who they are or even remember their names, and other times she can recall events with absolute clarity from years ago.
“It’s probably too late for my mum now in terms of reversing the impact of this terrible condition, but it’s vital that we do what we can to spare other families from the devastation dementia brings.
“Research not only has the potential to slow down the deterioration of dementia, but hopefully it will also bring about a cure.”
Ken was joined by his brother Gary Wright, and two lifelong friends Dave Fisher and James Gupwell, on the gruelling fundraiser which saw them climb 12,390ft and down in 24 hours.
It was not only physically challenging, they were also faced with altitude sickness and varying weather conditions. Despite this, they reached the top in time to see the sunrise – where they then called their loved ones back home and raised over £7,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is the charity partner of AXA Insurance.
Ken added: “What an experience! There is no country in the world like Japan, so it was fantastic being able to explore it. With a combined group age of 186 the climb itself was both physically and emotionally challenging, but we loved every step. We climbed up to 10,000ft on the first day and then left at 2am the next morning so we could see the sunrise at 5am. When we got to the summit, we all felt elated, it was spectacular. We are all humbled by the support and best wishes from our families, friends and colleagues in supporting our adventure.”