Wicken family, led by retired butcher Bob, raises £2,500 for Alzheimer's Research UK with 22-mile sponsored walk in honour of wife Christine
PUBLISHED: 10:01 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:01 18 May 2017
A 71-year-old retired butcher from Wicken who led his family on a 22-mile sponsored walk on Saturday has so far raised £2,500 for Alzheimer's Research UK.
Bob Tyler was inspired to organise the walk because of his wife, Christine, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s 13 years ago at the age of 57.
Bob said: “Christine was always a busy person and on the village committees for various things. She loved doing things with her family, going away in her caravan or walking the dog.
“Christine and I had a very successful farm shop selling homemade sausages, burgers and meat. The shop was very busy but Christine always had a smile on her face and time for our customers.
“We closed the shop a few years ago so that I could care for Christine as her needs became too great for her to be left alone. Simple tasks became impossible such as making a drink, getting dressed and then not being able to recognise family and friends.
“It is very hard having been married to someone for 50 years for them to forget who you are.
“We all decided to do this walk to raise awareness for a cruel disease. Although Christine’s condition will only get worse we would like to think we can help raise some money to research the disease to help others.”
Bob, from Wicken, took part in the walk along with his daughters Sarah Tietz and Becky Ingram and grandchildren Harry, James and Elliott.
The family was joined by friends Suzie Dew, Tamara Graham, Zoe Thistlethwaite, Sally Jefferson, Paula Wylie, Ali Wells and her daughter Abigail and Ali Chaplin and her daughter Emily.
Christine lived at home in Wicken up until the last three years where she is now a resident at Hilton Park care home in Bottisham.
The 22-mile walk, which took place on Saturday, started at 5am in Sutton. From there the group walked to Ely via Witchford along the A142.
Once in Ely, the team completed a circular route coming out at the new cinema complex before walking to Little Downham, Coveney, Wardy Hill, Mepal and back to Sutton.
An update was posted on the fundraising page on Sunday after the team completed the walk.
It reads: “And we have finished!
“A few blisters but we all got there in the end. So lucky with the weather.
“Well done to Sarah for organising us all and providing super cakes and to Max for being the roadie.
“A huge thank you to all who have supported us - our target has been well and truly smashed.”
There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this number is expected to rise to over one million by 2025.
Jessica Sayer, regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We’re so grateful to Bob, Sarah and Becky for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK by organising this fantastic sponsored walk.
“Dementia affects a huge proportion of the population – one in three people over 65 in the UK will die with some form of the condition. Fantastic fundraising efforts like this will help us to defeat dementia sooner.”
To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WalkingforChristine and for more information about Alzheimer’s Research UK call 0300 111 5555 or go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org