Daughter of early Alzheimer’s sufferer pledges to raise awareness

A NURSE is hoping to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s, after her mother was diagnosed with the condition aged just 56 years old.

Hannah Gardner, who lives in Langford but grew up in Hitchin, is taking part in the Great South Run next month to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

It’s after her mother, Susan Salisbury - who still lives in Hitchin - was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s more than two years ago.

Hannah said that she wants to make people aware of the “cruel” condition which has made life so much more difficult for her mother.

She told The Comet: “Even doing chores is completely out of the question. She hallucinates, her mind plays tricks on her and she has problems with her memory.

“She’s had symptoms for eight years, when she was in her 50s. It’s cruel, and it’s always the nice people it happens to.”

Susan, who worked at Westbourne Nursing Home and Hitchin Hospital before retiring in 2009 due to her health, is cared for by husband Brendan.

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It was Brendan, who also works as a mental health nurse, that spotted the symptoms.

“Mum was a nurse all her life, and was quite young when she was diagnosed,” added Hannah.

“Dad is also a nurse, a mental health nurse, and that’s how he spotted the symptoms. He works part-time now, and looks after my mum.

“I decided to do the run in Portsmouth; it’s my mum’s home town and it coincides with their 40th wedding anniversary.”

The mum-of-two is currently training for the 10 mile run, and hopes to raise �500.

Her brother, Thomas, recently raised more than �1,000 for the charity, and her husband did the three-peaks challenge, raising �3,000 in which half will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.

To sponsor Hannah, visit www.justgiving.com/hannah-gardner0