Woman who put her life on hold to care for her dying father is raising awareness of cruel disease


Shane Brennan

A PRION woman has spoken about how she put her life on hold to care for her dying father.

Dewi Roberts, of Prion, was diagnosed with Huntington’s disease in 2004.

Huntington’s disease is an inherited neurological disease of the brain that damages certain brain cells. It causes deterioration and gradual loss of function and can affect cognition and behaviour.

Sufferers often experience anxiety, depression and uncontrolled movements, which get worse as the condition progresses. It is a hereditary disease and there is a 50% chance of passing on the gene.

Catrin Roberts, 29, spent years caring for Dewi during his illness.

She said “My dad sadly passed away from this condition in March this year aged 65. I spent nine years looking after him and it was difficult to watch an intelligent, fun-loving, laid back man deteriorate into a someone who could no longer speak, feed or dress himself but could understand everything thing that was going on around him.”

The pressures on the family caused by the disease were huge. In 2007. Catrin moved back home from Cardiff where she had been studying.

She said: “He was denial really that he had it, but he was a bio chemist in the hospital so they made him go for a test and slowly over the years he started to get worse and worse. His movements were incontrollable.

“He suffered with depression, anxiety, aggression, cognitive behaviour you just lose all kinds of function. “The worst thing is you know what's going on he knew everything that was going on around him. In the last years of his life.”

To raise awareness of the disease Kris King, a 26 year old fitness instructor from Sheffield, embarked on a mammoth 34-day, non-stop cycling and running challenge around the entire coast of Great Britain.  

During his trip, Kris is carrying a flag which has the names who have died as a result of the disease. Kris has chosen to name the flag the Dewi flag in honour of Dewi Roberts.

Recently, Kris stopped off in Ruthin to meet Dewi’s daughter Catrin, aged 29. Catrin. So far Kris has raised more than £16,000 for the Huntington’s Disease Association.

To make a donation visit justgiving.com/Teamawesome-HD. To find out more about the condition at hdanorthwalesbranch.org.uk.

See full story in the Free Press

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