A NEWTOWNARDS woman has left -pound;1000 to a charity at her heart, ahead of Remember A Charity Week this month (17-23 September), Alzheimer's Research UK has received a gift of -pound;1,000 from the late Patricia Drew (right), who passed away in 2011, aged 94.
Patricia left the gift in her Will to the UK's leading dementia research charity in memory of her husband Barr-eacute; who died with Alzheimer's disease in 1989.
Patricia's daughter Rosemary Masefield, a part-time tennis coach and amateur artist from Helen's Bay, explained her mother's motivation for remembering Alzheimer's Research UK in her will:
"My mother was a wonderful, selfless lady who cared for my father during his ten year struggle with Alzheimer's.
"It put a huge strain on her as she had to do everything for him, from tying his shoelaces, to feeding him and putting him to bed - but she never complained.
"It opened her eyes to the dreadful lack of funding for research to find new treatments for this devastating disease. She left a gift in her Will to give hope to other people.
Rosemary explained how her parents had met during World War Two when the both served with the Royal Navy.
"My parents anticipated a happy retirement together, making the most of their free time and travelling to see us. Sadly, their dreams were cut short as Alzheimer's overwhelmed everything.
Revealing her mother's own health began to fail ten years ago, the woman said her mother died "peacefully, just of old age".
"I'm very proud her gift to Alzheimer's Research UK will help to defeat Alzheimer's disease.
"Even though she's no longer with us, it's so good to know her generosity and compassion are still making a difference."
Dr Marie Janson, Director of Development for Alzheimer's Research UK, said the charity was very grateful for Patricia's gift.
"This will pay for hours of pioneering research or vital equipment for our scientists, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.
"There are nearly 16,000 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland alone. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future but funding for research still lags significantly behind other serious diseases."
Revealing that the generousity of supporters like Patricia accounted for nearly one third of funding for its research, Dr Janson said: "However big or small, these gifts allow ordinary people to make an extraordinary impact on our crucial dementia research."
For more information about supporting dementia research, contact Joanne Fearne at Alzheimer's Research UK at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01223 843899.