Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hats off!
Aside

Hats off to Terry Pratchett - the writer - who had just donated a million dollars to the Alzheimer's Society. Terry aged 59, was himself diagnosed last December. He has a variant of the disease which affects his motor skills so his typing - once faultless, is now slow and laboured and he has had to stop driving. Speaking on the radio Terry sounded fine and says his anger at the disease and the pathetic efforts of the government gives him an inner strength. He knows there is no cure but lots more can be done to ameliorate and slow down the disease and the money will be a great help to fund vital research. My younger brother fell victim to Alzheimer's in his early fifties and I wish all the best for Terry and his wife and applaud him. We need valiant warriors like him to fight this dread disease.

17 comments:

Kim Ayres said...

I heard a bit of this on the radio this morning. It's a great thing that he's choosing to raise the profile of this disease, as it is definitely one that is usually swept under the carpet

PI said...

Kim: the government give 3% of the money they give to cancer research to Alzheimer's. Like stroke victims it is the poor relation. BTW I hope to watch that programme tonight - something and Webb?

Nea said...

My hat's off!

kenju said...

Bravo to him!

PI said...

Nea and Judy: he has just sent his latest book to his publisher - which took him 2 months longer than usual because of the typing and he plans to do a book a year as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

So much for keeping your brain active, you couldn’t have a much more active brain than his.


LOM

PI said...

LOM: he certainly sounded perfectly normal - whatever that is. when my brother was ill we were told there could never be a positive diagnosis until after death.

Kate said...

I think it's the most horrible complaint there is - most times the person affected looks the same but their brain and memory have gone. To have to watch someone disintegrate from a vital positive fun-loving individual to a shell who could hardly talk is agony. The other thing is Mum was totally used up after he died and only lasted just over a year afterwards. Unfortunately people are living much longer these days and the chances are that it is a complaint that many more folk will come up against...

PI said...

Kate: I couldn't agree more. Very soon my brother was completely unaware so he was spared some of the agony except just at first when he would realise something was wrong and cried which broke our hearts. He lasted for years and it was a perpetual bereavement. He adored my mother and died within a few days of her death.

Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I was shocked when I heard the other month that Terry Pratchett had Alzheimers. He is one of my favourite writers - I'll never tire of Discworld - and I saw what it did to my grandpa. It is such a cruel disease, robbing people of themselves.

My Granny was one of the founder members of Alzheimer's Scotland, and womanned its nightime hotline for many years after she really was fit to do so. Most of the time she talked to spouses or children of elderly parents, desperate, in tears and afraid of their own thoughts. Thankfully, my grandpa was always as mild as milk even when at his most lost, but my granny spoke to many many people with loved ones who would often turn violent from the changes in their brain.

It's a whole family disease, horribly tragic and I hope to God a cure is found soon.

You're right though. Nowadays, if caught early enough, medications can delay its full onset for years. I really hope this is the case for Terry.

PI said...

Sam: well done your Granny. My brother became a danger to himself and was getting violent through his frustration. Once he went into care he just wasn't there anymore. I used to wish I had the courage to end it for him and years later when he died all my tears were spent and I just felt relieved that he would be with Mum and Dad.

Kim Ayres said...

So did you watch Mitchell and Webb in the end?

PI said...

Kim: yes I did and realised I did know them - fell asleep and woke up in the next programme and thought how excellent their disguises were. But I was completely fooled by the Patricia character.

sablonneuse said...

Yes, I watched his speech and thought he did wonderfully well.
His books sound intriguing so i've just ordered some from Amazon.

PI said...

sablonneuse: let me know what you think of it please.

rashbre said...

I also heard him on the radio, highly lucid and giving a clear description of the challenge of the disease. The point he made about another disease refered to as 'a long illness' and the relatively low profile of Alzheimer's in terms of public awareness and research funding also presented a strong agenda.

In addition to the money, the leverage that his own profile and persona can bring to public perception is very powerful.

PI said...

Rashbre: I really admire his courage.