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#ShareTheOrange - Raising Awareness and Understanding of Dementia

Alzheimer's Research UK
According to the Alzheimer's society there are around 800,000 people in the UK with dementia - the umbrella term that includes Alzheimer's. It will develop in 1 of 3 over the age of 65 and 2 thirds of the sufferers will be women. Dementia is a chronic disease of the brain. It effects our mental processes, personality traits and our ability to store memory. In fact, as this video informs us, it reduces your brain piece by piece until it weighs 140 grams less then a healthy brain. To make that figure really hit home - that's the same weight as an average, everyday orange in your fruit bowl. Go on pick it up and hold it. 

Christopher Eccleston, the familiar face of the ninth Doctor Who (or the ninth version of the Doctor, to be technical) has launched a social media campaign for Alzheimer's UK to bring awareness to this life altering disease, and he's done so with a hard hitting and beautifully simple video; complete with the hashtag #sharetheorange. The video has been made by the creators of Wallace and Gromit, Bristol's Aardman Animation's. With a pure white background, the focus is initially on Christopher's face. Then we have his narration as we see the orange decreasing in size, piece by piece by piece until it finally falls, representing the ultimate death. He draws from his own experience to bring an emotional current to the video. He saw his father, once a stoic man with a love for words, slowly shift and become unaware of himself and his past. Eventually  forgetting even the existence of his son. Christopher instead would visit as a friend, creating a strong and loving bond that way.

If anything, this is a great campaign because it scares people. Its harrowing to see the orange, representing the brain, slowly disappearing. It's haunting to hear that the thing that makes us us can be taken away, through no fault of our own. This campaign is not only to bring awareness to the sufferers but to warn people, to inspire them to research the condition and be aware of the warning signs. Luckily for you guys, I've already done the research for you.

The early red flags are: 

Memory loss - it's typical to not be as sharp as you once were, but there's a huge difference in forgetting where you put your keys every now and then, or even pretty often (I know I do) and forgetting the route you take to work everyday, or the fact that you asked the same question multiple times in a very short space of time.
Increasing difficulties with tasks and planning -  you just can't seem to get organised and nail down times/places/people. 
Becoming confused - This is perhaps one of the scariest symptoms, and one that isolates those that suffer with Alzheimer's the most, suddenly becoming unaware of your surroundings or how you ended up somewhere is tough, so if you've experienced it, or seen your loved one experience it then this is a huge sign
Difficulty with speech or simple mathematicsdepression and personality changes

Watching this video will only take away 1 minute and 30 seconds from your life, but could add years of clarity and support. Sharing it will only take a measly 5 seconds away of your life, but may save hundreds. It's important to spread this video, as you never know who you're going to reach, educate or touch.

Christopher has done a remarkably hard thing and deserves to be commended. It's so easy when something devastates your life like this to run away and hide, to secretly feel the loss, to feel angry and resentful. But although it's harder, it's also more worthwhile to take your pain and turn it into something like this. Something that is so needed, I can not stress it enough. Bringing awareness to health and difficult problems now is what will pave the way and make it easier for future sufferers to get the help they so desperately need.

At the risk of going off on a tangent about how incredible this simple video is, how about you all watch it, see it for yourself and of course please pass it on with the hashtag #sharetheorange.

Robyn is a self-proclaimed book nerd/punk goddess. She has always had an adoration for writing and is hoping to find her feet in this creative and intrinsically exciting career path. She may only be an intern but don't underestimate this girl. Follow her @Songbird_Robyn

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#ShareTheOrange - Raising Awareness and Understanding of Dementia Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, March 09, 2016 Rating: 5

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