Do It For D-Man

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We are delighted to let you know that Dementia Australia is bringing Memory Walk & Jog back in 2022, to more locations across Australia than ever before!

One team throwing its support behind this event is ‘Team Do It For D-Man’, who will be walking with 55-year-old Pete, who was diagnosed four years ago with younger onset dementia. The team will be led by Pete’s wife Jane, alongside their four children - Ed, 25, Alistair, 24, Charlotte, 22 and Henry, 16. 

In 2021, Team Do It For D-Man showed up in force for the Sydney event, with more than 100 members taking part in honour of Pete, raising more than $70,000. They hope to do the same in 2022! 

But what does D-Man stand for you ask? 

“D-Man came from ‘Dementia Man’ d for darling, d for dad, d for dementia. He calls himself D-Man all the time. It’s kind of a nice thing, it makes him feel special,” Jane said. 

D-Man, aka Pete, was the dad who did hugs and was always active with his children. He was extremely loving, clever, caring, quiet, gentle, giving, generous and above all, patient. For Jane and the family, this last attribute was the tell-tale sign that Pete had changed - because one day, instead of patience, he began to show anger and frustration. 

Ultimately, this was just one of the signs that led the family to Pete’s dementia diagnosis. Other indicators included a series of car accidents, where once upon a time he’d been a  great driver. 

Today, Pete’s mobility and balance are affected by dementia meaning he can’t do most of the active things he once did - though his love for tennis keeps him playing each week, despite it being a challenge. 

Aside from tennis, Pete has lost much of his desire to be active, which is why the Memory Walk & Jog is such a great opportunity. 

“This walk is pretty important. He’s not active anymore, but with everyone there egging him along, he’ll get in there and do it,” Jane said. 

Living with dementia makes Jane think of the future she and Pete should be looking forward to together. With their four children almost all grown up, they should have been making plans to spend more time together, with less worry on their shoulders. The reality of dementia is therefore a difficult alternative future to come to terms with. 

Pete and Jane’s children also mourn the future they will never have with their dad. Major milestones, such as getting married or having children, are life events they would love Pete to be a part of. 

In fact, one of Pete’s first questions to the doctor was: would he be able to walk his daughter, Charlotte, down the aisle? At the time, Charlotte was still in school. Typical of the loving father he is, Pete’s biggest concern was that he wouldn’t be there for that when she grew, and the many other times when his children would need him. 

Fortunately, Jane and Pete have nurtured a close family unit. The four siblings still live at home, so that they can help by preparing dinner and supporting their dad. The family has also received support from Dementia Australia. This has come in the form of training, a support group, seminars and events, and the National Dementia Helpline. 

You can follow Team Do It For D-Man’s lead by registering for a Memory Walk & Jog event today. In 2022, Memory Walk & Jog events will be held at the following locations: 

Adelaide 

Sunday 27 March 

Wigley Reserve, Glenelg 

Ballarat 

Sunday 3 April 

Lake Wendouree 

Bendigo 

Saturday 2 April 

Garden for the Future 

Brisbane 

Sunday 29 May 

Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rocks 

Canberra 

Sunday 27 February 

Barrine Drive, Lake Burley Griffin 

Cronulla 

Sunday 20 March 

Don Lucas Reserve 

Darwin 

Sunday 19 June 

East Point 

Geelong 

Sunday 3 April 

Barwon Valley Park 

Gold Coast 

Sunday 5 June 

Pratten Park, Broadbeach 

Hunter 

Sunday 27 March 

Speers Point Park 

Illawarra 

Sunday 20 February 

Lang Park, Wollongong 

Lithgow 

Sunday 13 February 

Tony Luchetti Showground 

Melbourne 

Sunday 1 May 

Tan Track, Alexandra Gardens 

Mildura 

Saturday 5 March 

Nowingi Place 

Mudgee 

Saturday 12 February 

Lawson Park 

Sydney 

Sunday 22 May 

The Bay Run, Leichhardt, Oval #3, Lilyfield 

Toowoomba 

Saturday 4 June 

Queens Park 

Wagga Wagga 

Saturday 6 March 

Apex Park 

Western Sydney 

Sunday 20 March 

Lizard Log, Western Sydney Parklands 

Memory Walk & Jog events raise awareness and much-needed funds to help provide invaluable support, education and resources for people living with dementia in Australia, their carers, families and friends. 

Each event offers a wonderful opportunity for people impacted by dementia and their supporters to come together, walk or run, raise money and share stories. The goal is that everyone will come away from the events knowing they are not alone! 

Each event is designed for people of all ages. They can decide whether to walk, jog or run, and can select from a variety of distances. People can participate as an individual or as a team, and can even come in fancy dress! 

There will be prizes for the top fundraisers, as well as raffles, well-known MCs, plenty of entertainment, food stalls and special guest appearances by Memory Walk & Jog mascot Al the Elephant. 

We are aiming to raise $1.7 million through these events in 2022 and hopes to attract tens of thousands of participants. 

The safety and wellbeing of Memory Walk & Jog participants, volunteers and staff is Dementia Australia’s top priority at these events. The team is constantly monitoring the evolving situation with COVID-19, and remains in communication with the relevant federal, state and local authorities. A robust COVID-safe plan has been tailored for each event and will be adapted as needed. 

If you can’t attend one of the planned events in the series, why not consider organising your own group or individual walk or jog, with a MY Way or Walk & Jog Impossible Challenge? More details can be found at www.memorywalk.com.au