Pratchett shares precious memories

POPULAR fantasy writer and Salisbury resident Sir Terry Pratchett is helping to kick-start a new campaign for the Alzheimer’s Research Trust (ART).

Memories Matter, is being launched in the run-up to World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21. Mr Pratchett, who lives in Broadchalke, has shared an unforgettable moment from his life in support of the charity’s vital research.

The ART Patron has joined a host of celebrities, including Sir Michael Parkinson, Tony Robinson and Fern Britton, as well as politicians including Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and party leaders David Cameron and Nick Clegg in the national launch of the campaign.

Sir Terry, who was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s in 2008, revealed how precious his memories are in the face of the cruel disease: “Deep down I know that one day my memories will go. The day my daughter was born. It was a dark and stormy night when she was in intensive care, but kind of OK, it was a long delivery. I thought that some celebration was in order. I found a piece of stewing steak in the fridge. It was the best damn steak I’d ever had. I cooked it with lots of onions. It was very tough, but it tasted absolutely beautiful. I went off into the driveway and I fell flat on my face. I didn’t hurt myself.

“And the elation – I mean, nothing could’ve gone wrong that night. I think I’d hate to lose that memory.”

Memories Matter draws attention to the memory loss experienced by the 700,000 people in the UK who live with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and how we could halt this: through research into new treatments, preventions and cures.

Members of the public are invited to add their unforgettable moments – good, bad or otherwise – to the hundreds already collected on the Alzheimer’s Research Trust website www.memories-matter.org, or on Twitter using the #memoriesmatter tag.

Selected memories from the public will also be displayed on the Alzheimer’s Research Trust’s Memory Wall, which will tour the country from this month.

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