Son of Thunderbirds creator in Dursley appeals for Alzheimer's support
9:30am Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News By Daniel Chipperfield, senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge
THE son of Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson, is helping to send out the message that Alzheimer’s sufferers need more support.
Jamie Anderson, of Dursley, has taken part in a month of gruelling marathons and walks across the UK, totalling 100 miles.
Gerry, 87, was diagnosed with dementia two years ago and wanted to play his part in helping people become more aware of the condition.
However, being too ill to take part in Alzheimer’s Society’s flagship memory walks, Jamie decided to take his place.
The 27-year-old web designer has now completed marathons in Wiltshire, Northumberland and Northern Ireland over subsequent Sundays in September.
But with two smaller walks still to go, Jamie, who has previously lived in Wotton-under-Edge, has already raised over £2,000.
"I didn’t realise how tough it would be in all honesty," he said.
"But if what I do gets people’s attention and then say 10 people go get checked and get diagnosed early, they have a much greater chance of improving their quality of life. If that happens I’ll be happy."
The father and son decided that more people needed to be aware of the disease and his fame for the much-loved puppet TV show was well placed to make that happen.
"My dad’s show was most popular in the 60s and 70s, the people who watched it then are the group most likely to contract the disease," he said.
Jamie owns a digital media company in Chipping Norton but his next task is a more leisurely two-mile walk in Bristol on Sunday, September 23.
Starting at 10.30am at the Royal Marines Reserve and crossing the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Jamie is striving to emphasise the importance of the walks.
"When my dad was diagnosed we assumed there was a support network available or a system in place to help," he said.
"But we were shocked to find that there was no such thing.
"I urge everyone to join me and sign up with their family and friends for this challenging yet rewarding event."
For information on the day please visit http://www.memorywalk.org.uk
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