Family to climb Ben Nevis for mum - and to help others with dementia

Pictured (left to right) at a family get-together a few years ago are dad Frank Power Snr, mum Mary Power, then brothers and sisters Stephen, (46), Maureen (45) Monica (44) Frank Power Jnr, (42)  Lucy Power, (40)  Martin Power, (38) and Anne (30)
Pictured (left to right) at a family get-together a few years ago are dad Frank Power Snr, mum Mary Power, then brothers and sisters Stephen, (46), Maureen (45) Monica (44) Frank Power Jnr, (42) Lucy Power, (40) Martin Power, (38) and Anne (30)

A Cumbernauld family of seven brothers and sisters are set to carry out a midnight climb of Ben Nevis – out of love for their mum.

Mary Power, well known at the town’s St Joseph’s Church and as a nurse over four decades, was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 58, and 12 years later is being cared for at Mossvale nursing home.

Now her family – all in their 30s and 40s – want to highlight the work carried out for people with dementia by Alzheimer Scotland, while raising funds for the charity.

Daughter Monica Power, now living in Dorset, said: “We’re a well-known family in Cumbernauld and we thought it would be great if we could all get together to do something positive.

“Our dad Frank still lives locally and is very supportive, and we’ve already had terrific encouragement from friends in and around Cumbernauld and elsewhere.

“We’re setting off at midnight on August 9 – making sure we have proper torches and all the right gear – in what should be a very unusual get-together.”

The seven inevitably all have different levels of fitness, but have given themselves just enough time to prepare for a jaunt that has already raised a tidy sum for the Alzheimer’s charity.

Beyond that they are well aware that many other local families are also dealing with the difficulty of accepting that a much-loved family member may, as with their mum, be at the stage where they need full time care.

However for many the discovery that someone has Alzheimer’s is a traumatic shock, and they can be unsure of just what happens next, or how they are expected to cope with it.

The Power family are close-knit and supportive of one another, and others don’t necessarily have that level of family solidarity to call upon.

Mary Power was well aware of her condition when it was first diagnosed, but for many others the onset of dementia can be relatively swift.

Monica said: “Being very aware of her diagnosis at the time 10 years ago, she dealt with her illness with dignity and grace because she knew very well what was to come, having nursed many sufferers through her 40 year career as a nurse.

“To us, she is the most wonderful human being we know, whose memory has been cut short by this horrible disease.” Monica says she, her brothers and sisters will toast on the summit of Ben Nevis the many people locally who have helped their effort.

There’s more on the family’s effort at www.justgiving.com/Marydoll44.