Barbara Windsor has spoken for the first time on camera since her dementia diagnosis, speaking out to encourage London Marathon runners to pledge their fundraising to finding a cure for the disease. In the inspiring video, which was shot in her own home, she says: "Well done all you lucky people who have secured a place to run at the iconic 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon. This year I'm asking you to make a stand against dementia. Use your place to run for the Dementia Revolution – for Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Research UK."
Barbara and her husband Scott
She continues: "Support ground-breaking research to find a cure for a condition that affects so many people, like me. With your help, we can - and will - end dementia, with research." The video also accompanies a blog on Dementia Revolution's website, where Barbara has talked more about her diagnosis and why she is supporting the cause.
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"When my husband Scott and I went public about my diagnosis earlier this year, I was overwhelmed by the reaction and all the messages of support we received," she writes. "Before we can develop life-changing treatments and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia, we must first change attitudes. I hope that by sharing my story, I can help raise awareness of this cruel condition and encourage more people to support dementia research."
The actress' husband, Scott Mitchell, has also revealed he will be running the London Marathon for the cause, and has opened up about life since the diagnosis. He told The Sun: "I’m watching Barbara living with it, and it can be very frightening. She’s definitely more confused now. She often thinks our house is her childhood home in Stoke Newington, and is constantly asking me, ‘Is this where I lived with Mummy and Daddy?'"
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He opened up about happier times, too, recalling when he had a stair lift installed to assist his wife. "The first time she got in it, I became like a 1970s fairground attendant who said, 'Single riders only please. Hold tight now and scream if you want to go faster,'" he said. "She found it hysterically funny, so now I have to do it every time, top and bottom. If I don’t, she says, 'Haven’t you forgotten something?' which is quite bizarre because she forgets everything else. It’s so stupid but it brings us such joy and shields the sadness behind the situation."