Walking to help fund dementia charity

Michaela McQuade is doing the Oxford Memory Walk for mother-in-law, Joyce Dunn

Michaela McQuade is doing the Oxford Memory Walk for mother-in-law, Joyce Dunn

First published in News

A DEVOTED daughter-in-law has told of the devastating toll dementia has taken on her family as she prepares to embark on a fundraising walk.

Michaela McQuade thought nothing of uprooting her family and moving back to Oxford from their home in Northampton when mother-in-law Joyce Dunn was diagnosed.

Now she is going even further to help, by raising money in the Oxford Memory Walk next month.

Two years ago Ms McQuade, 44, came to Oxford with her partner Robert Dunn, 39, their six-year-old son Charlie and her three daughters Alannah, 21 Ciann, 11 and Fallon, 10.

Oxford Mail:

They moved into Mr Dunn’s childhood home in Iffley Turn with his father Tony, 73, after Mrs Dunn, 71, above, was moved into Iffley Residential and Nursing Home.

Ms McQuade said: “The whole world got turned upside down for everybody, but family is all about mucking in and looking after each other. I think it was a bit of a shock for Tony. He went from this nice quiet home to having this massive family with him.”

She is now raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society walk – which has routes of 2km or 10km – at Oxford University Parks on Sunday, September 14.

Ms McQuade said: “I’ve done a lot of runs in memory of people – such as the Race for Life – but I wanted to do something close to home. We need to do more for the living.

“It’s such a debilitating disease, you don’t even know you’re sick.”

Mrs Dunn is suspected to have lived with vascular dementia for a decade, but was only diagnosed and moved to the nursing home two years ago after a rapid decline in health.

Ms McQuade said: “She didn’t sleep and we had to take all of the mirrors out of the house because she didn’t recognise herself.

“She almost got Robert arrested because she forgot who he was and thought he was mugging her.

“It’s very sad for the children. They go to visit and she doesn’t know who they are.”

Mrs Dunn was a well-known figure in Oxfordshire’s dog show circles, but Ms McQuade said her former colleagues would not recognise her now. She said: “She was such a gentle and sweet lady, she used to judge at Crufts and breed dogs.

“Anyone that knew her now wouldn’t believe it.

“It’s very, very upsetting. Alzheimer’s Society were so good to us. They helped us get her diagnosed and gave us lots of information.

“She got so poorly so quickly. We just didn’t know what to do.

“They are absolutely priceless.”

To sponsor Ms McQuade, visit justgiving.com/Michaela-MCQUADE1. For information about the walk, visit memorywalk.org.uk/oxford

Our top stories

Man trapped under fallen tree in Minster Lovell

Oxford Mail: Ambulance stock image

5:00pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

A MAN trapped under a fallen tree was taken to hospital after being rescued by fire crews this morning.

Harcourt Arboretum closes after gusts of more than 40mph forecast

Oxford Mail:

2:49pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

HARCOURT Arboretum should be open tomorrow after closing today because of strong winds.

Missing 15-year-old Elizabeth Skevington could be in Oxford

Oxford Mail:

2:24pm Tuesday 5th May 2015

A GIRL missing from Milton Keynes could be in the Oxford area, police said.

Land Rover stolen from Witney spotted heading towards Swindon

Oxford Mail:

11:14am Tuesday 5th May 2015

POLICE have released images of a stolen Land Rover almost two months after it was taken.

UPDATE: Arson suspected after fire at the Kassam Stadium as club confirm no serious damage caused

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

12:16am Tuesday 5th May 2015

A FIRE at the Kassam Stadium is being treated by police as suspected arson.  

Michael Appleton optimistic Oxford United's form can be transferred to next season

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 5th May 2015

Michael Appleton is confident Oxford United’s strong form at the end of the season can be translated into prolonged success across the whole of the next campaign.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree