A Shrewsbury woman is scaling in heights as a tribute to her dad who is a football club ‘legend’ in the town.
Llarni Bates is aiming to climb one of the world’s highest mountains this month to raise around £4,000 for Dementia UK.
She decided to take on the trek as an accolade to her father Chic Bates who was formally diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia and Alzheimer’s in 2013.
Chic has enjoyed a 40-year relationship with Shrewsbury Town as a prolific goal scorer and successful manager, has been inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame and still attends matches as a fan.
“I started noticing changes in my dad’s behaviour eight years ago when he was just 61. Two years later after brain scans he was diagnosed and currently there is no prevention or cure for this disease,” explains Llarni, who works as a senior legal assistant with Shrewsbury firm Wace Morgan and has never done anything like this epic climb before.
“Living with dementia can have a big emotional, social, psychological and practical effect on a person and their families. Many people with the condition describe these effects as a series of losses and adjusting to them is challenging not only for the individual but also for those supporting them.
“Each day I have first hand experience of living with this, seeing the day to day impact it has on my dad, my mother, myself and my brother. Also the frustration can be that my dad still looks the same and yet his functioning is limited.
“Sadly and rather disappointingly I have witnessed my dad being avoided, discriminated and even made fun of because of his illness. Having said that he has received so much love and support, care and understanding which is incredible and I am so grateful to those kind people.
“As a daughter of a sufferer I want to raise more awareness and in doing so I also hope to raise money for the charity Dementia UK.”
Llarni is training for the trip by climbing local hills getting up at 4am some days to scale the Wrekin twice before work.
On September 21 she will be flying out to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, which will be a four-day ascent with a two-day descent.
“I am funding the trip myself so any money I do raise will all go to the charity and I am hoping to collect around £4,000 in sponsorship.
“This challenge is sure to put me through so many emotions – I am excited, nervous but overall determined,” she added.
Llarni¹s colleagues at Wace Morgan collected more than £250 for her cause, which directors matched, meaning that the firm handed her a cheque for just over £500 towards her fund raising target.