Ambassador for Alzheimer’s NSW - Sam Poolman
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Ambassador for Alzheimer’s NSW

Ambassador for Alzheimer’s NSW

Did you know that I am a proud Ambassador for Alzheimer’s NSW?

The Alzheimer’s disease damages the brain – resulting in impaired memory, thinking and behaviour.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

My grandad passed away from Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. I miss him every day and often wish he was here to share the memories we are making as a family, but I am certain he is watching over us with pride.

My grandad was the pinnacle of our family. He created a wonderful life for himself and my grandma, who were together from the age of 16. He was a very smart man who ran a successful business

During the hardest times for my grandad when he was battling the disease l was living in Adelaide, playing for the Thunderbirds. It was so hard to see the man we all loved and knew as our grandad, slipping from us.

Being so far away and limited to when l could get back l decided to get in contact with Alzheimer’s SA to give my time for them. I thought this was a way to do something for my grandma. I built a great relationship with the organisation and helped wherever l could.

With my role within the community if thought that l could spread awareness of the disease, as well as share with those that were going through the same as what my family was.

When l returned to NSW l wanted to do the same thing. I am now an Ambassador for Alzheimer’s NSW. They run memory walks throughout NSW to raise awareness for the disease. This year l was able to attend the Hunter Memory walk and share this morning with my family.

For an incredible smart man who did crosswords daily, it was hard to see his memory fade from him.

My grandad played a great role in my netball career and, more importantly, myself as a person. The way he went about his life, business and family means l aspire to be like him. My most cherished memories of when l was younger always include my grandparents and the moments/holidays we shared with them! My grandad would travel and watch me play and also supported my parents who allowed to spend countless amount of money, time and sacrificed for me to be able to play netball.

I remember my first Australian team when l was 16 we went away to NZ to play and made it through to the grand final. We weren’t expected to win so l bet my grandad if we won the grand final that he would have to buy me any handbag l chose! So true to the deal we won the grand final and he bought me a handbag l still have to this day.

Image courtesy of Newcastle Herald


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