Here at Revitalise we always love the stories of our guests but every now and then we read something that seems to capture the every essence of what we try to do. Mavis and Colin shared one such story with us. Mavis, who had been coping with MS since an early age, relied on the care given to her by her husband Colin. Then their roles were suddenly and unexpectedly reversed. Mavis tells their story:
Everybody said it wouldn’t last…
“Colin and I met at a dance hall. We used to go dancing a lot as well as cycling, especially after we bought a tandem while we were courting. Dad gave us a lovely wedding. That was in May 1960. Three days later I turned 18. Everybody said it wouldn’t last, but what do others know?
Around 2002 Colin started getting things going wrong with him. I noticed him being more forgetful and irrational. He was not himself at all. I got him to take me to the Doctor’s but had arranged with the Doctor to see Colin instead of me. I had suspicions that he could be starting with Alzheimer’s. Eventually he was diagnosed with dementia.
I miss all the things that I did as Colin’s dementia has got worse and you are always wondering how long it will be before you aren’t recognised. It is very frustrating, especially for Colin, as he knows what is happening to him.
We were all fun-loving and had a ball
We got funding for a week at Revitalise and decided to try it. I didn’t know anywhere existed where so much was done to make a break so enjoyable. Everybody was fun-loving and we had a ball. We made lots of friends there and have kept in touch. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support we got. We have all said we would love to go again.
With disabilities you learn to adapt and try to do as much as you can while you can. Days out have to be planned in advance now and the time out is limited. We don’t go to shows or anything because of this – that is why we enjoyed Revitalise so much. Colin is never left on his own at all which is limiting for me, but as long as he is happy that is all that matters. So it was good at Revitalise to feel comfortable about him still being looked after without me there next to him all the time.
Revitalise got me back to my ‘fun’ side again that had been missing for a while, and has always been a big part of me and my life. It gave me back more confidence. I got my ‘mojo’ back! I also learned some more positive things about Colin that I didn’t think possible after all these years together. Colin just enjoyed everything and keeps telling people about our stay there – more memories for him to talk about.
We look after each other
I can cope with my MS and still make the most of life. Colin has the same attitude to disability. We look after each other. We have been married for 57 years and are best friends, lovers and partners. Revitalise was just the icing on the cake of our life together so far.
As for the future, you never know what lies round the corner but we just aim to enjoy each other’s company for as long as possible.”
The Revitalise Spring Appeal
Disabled people and carers face many challenges, but we are absolutely determined that a lack of funds for respite should not be one of them.
That’s why all the funds raised by our Spring Appeal will go towards our Revitalise Support Fund, which aims to provide financial support for disabled people and carers in hardship, so that they can take much-needed respite breaks with Revitalise.
If you have been moved by Mavis and Colin’s story, please support our appeal by making a donation now.
- I’d like to make an online donation in support of the Spring Appeal
- I’d like to give by text: Just text MAVI17 followed by £10, £5, £4, £3, £2 or £1 (leave a space and don’t forget the ‘£’ sign!) to 70070. Simple as that!