A 37-year-old nurse from Ellesmere Port took part in this year’s Tough Mudder to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.
Mum of two Nicky Johnston, who only started running in January this year, decided to take part in the event following her dad Alan Johnston’s diagnosis with dementia.
Nicky said: “I took on this challenge with my gorgeous dad, my rock, the man I have always looked up to, as my focus. He has always been there for me providing love and support and always encouraged me to grab life and live it to the full.
“My two children, Kane, 17 and Abbie, 11 and my partner of 20 years Paul thought I was having some sort of mid-life crisis when I told them I was going to complete Tough Mudder.
“I work full time but was determined to somehow fit in training around my busy work/home life.
“I began training in January, having never even ran for a bus before in my life. I want to raise awareness of this progressive disease and maybe one day find a cure to prevent dementia.”
Nicky said of her dad’s diagnosis: “Firstly we all began to notice he was becoming more forgetful and he even began to notice himself. We hoped this was just his memory becoming less reliable as he got nearer 70, but sadly this was not the case.
“He was diagnosed with dementia and it blew his world apart. His driving licence was withdrawn and having been a HGV driver for over 50 years, this stripped him of what independence he believed he had left.
“Over time he has deteriorated. He is still fully aware his memory is slowly failing him and some days are worse than others. He remains independent at present and is slowly accepting help and support from his loved ones. It often upsets me when hearing him call himself stupid and worthless because he can’t find the words to finish a simple conversation.”
Nicky, who raised £700 for the Alzheimer’s Society, added: “Friends and family are very understanding and it hasn’t yet stopped him playing his much loved guitar. When he forgets the notes or words to his favourite songs they continue to play and sing along and he joins back in when he can.
“His two children and five grandchildren are so very lucky to have such a wonderful man in their lives, but sadly as a nurse I know what the future holds for my gorgeous dad. Therefore, the months or hopefully years we have left with the man we love so much need to be filled with love and laughter and making special memories along the way.”