Magpies’ number one draft pick steps up as number one carer for Mum

Friday 20 January 2017

Collingwood Football Club’s round one, women’s league, draft pick, Nicola Stevens is joining Memory Walk & Jog in Portsea this weekend in honour of her Mum, Ann who is 59 and living with younger onset dementia.

Ms Stevens, the new Alzheimer’s Australia Vic Ambassador, said, "I’m doing this for my Mum and for every person living with dementia who deserves to live their life with dignity and respect.

"I am passionate about sharing my personal experience to help others to realise they are not alone.

“Since my Mum was diagnosed in her early 50s, it’s important for people to know that dementia doesn’t only affect the elderly, it can also impact on people in their 30s, 40s and 50s. It impacts the whole family.

“Mum was diagnosed when I was doing my VCE and I’ve been totally there for her as she has been for me all my life.

“I know she will be really proud when she watches me run out on the ground at that first game.

“I’m not sure how much she will understand but I will definitely tell her all about it when I visit after the game.

“Her face lights up when she sees me which, every time, makes my day,” Ms Stevens said.

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

“Especially at such an exciting time when the first ever AFL Women’s League season is about to kick off.

"We are honoured that Nicola is willing to share her 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 her for her commitment to help raise awareness and understanding of dementia in the community," Ms Reilly said.

Ms Stevens encourages anyone impacted by dementia to reach out for help.

“Support and information is available through Alzheimer’s Australia Vic and I encourage anyone with concerns for themselves, or someone special to them, to contact the organisation,” Ms Stevens said.

The Collingwood FC women’s team are rallying behind Ms Stevens and five teammates will be joining her at the starting line, Amelia Barden, Christina Bernardi, Alicia Eva, Emma King and Ruby Schleicher, alongside around 800 people on Sunday morning at the Alzheimer’s Australia Vic Memory Walk & Jog in Point Nepean National Park, Portsea.

Registrations are welcome on the day and all information can be found at www.memorywalk.com.au or by calling 0437 354 511.

-ENDS-

Notes to media

Please avoid the use of the word 'sufferers' or 'suffering'. Consumers prefer to be referred to as people/a person living with dementia.

When writing or talking about dementia, please provide your audience with the number for our free National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 - telephone information and support service available across Australia.

What is appropriate language for talking about dementia and why do we need it?

The words used to talk about dementia can have a significant impact on how people with dementia are viewed and treated in our community. Please read our Dementia Language Guidelines that have been developed by people living with dementia and carers.

About Alzheimer’s Australia Vic

In Victoria almost 97,000 people are living with dementia. This figure is projected to increase to 386,000 by 2050. Alzheimer’s Australia Vic is the charity and peak body representing people, of all ages, with all forms of dementia in Victoria. 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 Contacts:

Christine Bolt 0400 004 553 / christine.bolt@alzheimers.org.au or Stephanie Puls 0427 757 434 / stephanie.puls@alzheimers.org.au