The wife of a professor living with dementia is fuelling her motivation to complete a fundraising walk with hope that every step will raise further awareness of the syndrome.

Diane Loizou, will join more than 400 fundraisers already signed up to take part in the Alzheimer’s Society’s Watfrod Memory Walk in Cassiobury Park on September 3.  

She will walk in honour of her husband, Professor George Loizou, 85, who is living with vascular dementia.

Professor Loizou, who is retired from teaching computer science at the University of London, has built many contacts, professional relationships and stewarded several PhD students throughout his career but since his diagnosis in 2019, Diane says people have deserted him.

She said: “I don’t know if it’s a lack of understanding of the condition or a feeling of helplessness, but many people have stopped getting in touch or visiting George and I feel a sense of sadness on his behalf.

“News of his diagnosis, which came following a minor stroke the previous year, was devastating and I found myself in denial and not wanting to tell anyone for a long time.

“I know now that didn’t help and over time, I’ve developed a drive to spread awareness.”

Watford Observer: Professor George LoizouProfessor George Loizou

It will be the first time Diane will take part in the memory walk, together with friends who have also experienced the impact of dementia first-hand.

She said: “I hope to bring George to the event with my son but he won’t be able to walk with me. He’s still able to function on his own but his short-term memory is now badly affected.

“I’m looking forward to walking with others in similar situations on the day, all with a shared goal to help make a positive difference.”

Watford Observer: Luther Blissett at a Watford Memory Walk at Cassiobury ParkLuther Blissett at a Watford Memory Walk at Cassiobury Park

Alzheimer’s Society is encouraging people to join Diane on September 3 to help people affected by dementia through some of the hardest and most frightening times.

Community fundraiser Soraya Bowen said: “Too many people are facing dementia alone without adequate support.

“We can’t wait to see walkers of all ages and abilities and I would call on family, friends and colleagues to put their best foot forward to support this vital cause.”

Anyone wanting to support Diane can donate via her JustGiving page