Neighbours and Play School star joins the race to tackle dementia

Sunday 23 April 2017

More than 1,000 Melburnians will be joined today by Takaya Honda, Dr Tanaka in Network Ten’s Neighbours and former Play School host; Nicola Stevens, Collingwood Football Club AFLW and Amy Jackson, Melbourne City Football Club W-League, as they set out together to run or walk at Memory Walk & Jog in Templestowe on Sunday 23 April.

Mr Honda, Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s newest Ambassador said, “My mum was diagnosed in her early 50s with younger onset Alzheimer’s disease and from then until now, the year of her 60th birthday, where we are looking to put her into full time care, I have been looking for a way to positively contribute to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s Australia.

“I am so thankful that being a part of productions like Neighbours and Play School (something that I wouldn’t have achieved without mum’s encouragement) have given me the profile to be able to encourage others seek help or find out more about what they can do to care for a loved one living with dementia.

“Myself and my family are truly grateful for the invaluable support and information we have received from Alzheimer’s Australia. 

“From my experience I want to share with others that ‘you are not alone’,” Mr Honda said.

The Acting CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Leanne Wenig, said, “Takaya’s support is invaluable in helping Alzheimer’s Australia Vic to raise awareness about dementia in the community.

"We are honoured that Takaya is willing to share his personal experience and knowledge about dementia to support the role of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic as the peak body in Victoria advocating for people living with dementia their families and carers.

"We thank him for his commitment to making a difference to the lives of all people, of all ages, living with dementia, their families and carers," Ms Wenig said.

The community fundraising event brings together families and friends who walk or run together to honour a loved one. Creating a festival-feel, teams dress up in matching capes, brightly coloured tutus or photo- emblazoned t-shirts, all to celebrate the life of someone close to them.

The event is part of Alzheimer’s Australia Vic’s commitment to raising awareness about dementia across Victoria, where there are currently almost 104,000 people living with dementia.

Memory Walk & Jog will take place on Sunday 23 April, Westerfolds Park, Fitzsimons Lane, Templestowe. Registrations open from 7.00am.

Memory Walk & Jog started as a small community event in Homebush NSW in 2008. The event has grown nationally and now there are major events and DIY My Memory Walk & Jog events happening all around Australia throughout each year, raising hundreds of thousands of much needed funds to support the delivery of vital services and programs.

Opal Aged Care is the major supporter of the 2017 Memory Walk & Jog series. For more information visit www.memorywalk.com.au

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In Victoria 104,000 people are living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the peak body and charity representing people of all ages with all forms of dementia in Victoria. As the peak body, we provide specialised dementia information, education and support services.

Call our National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.fightdementia.org.au/vic

Media contact: Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 / christine.bolt@dementia.org.au

Professional photographs available on request.