All my fundraising so far has been for Alzheimer's Research, and the reason for this is very personal to me. In December 2015 I lost my mum, Leane Grimshaw, to Alzheimer's. She had fought the disease for many years, and we watched it progress from occasional lapses in memory and a waning confidence when paying for things with cash to the incapacitating final stages of the disease. Leane was in her late 60’s when the very first signs of Alzheimer’s began to appear, and her illness lasted around eight years – robbing us of precious time that we had hoped to spend with her. Seeing Alzheimer’s destroy a loved one’s life and finally take it completely is something that the families of 225,000 people will begin to experience this year alone – by comparison 361,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2016. However, the government invests eight times less in dementia research than in cancer research. Though no-one underestimates the need for research into cancer treatments, my personal experience means that I want to urgently see more research into dementia treatment and to help towards that I will personally continue to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research in memory of my mum. But I would like my mum to be remembered for the amazing woman she was, not just for her illness.
Leane was a loyal wife, a warm and loving mum of three, a grandma and great grandma. She was an artist, a natural healer and a Rosicrucian. Her interest in the ‘metaphysical’ extended through much of her life, starting with an interest in homeopathy and herbal remedies and progressing to her involvement with the Rosicrucians, a community of mystics who study and practice the metaphysical laws governing the universe. She also qualified and worked briefly as a hypnotherapist and also studied astrology and astrological charts.
Leane started life in the tiny village of Patrick Brompton in Yorkshire, where she spent a happy childhood in and the surrounding rural countryside. After she left school, she worked for about 5 years at the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Health Department as a Clerical Assistant before she met and married her husband of 58 years, Frank Grimshaw. She had three children in less than four years and spent the next fifteen years or so raising them, before her interests started to develop in artistic and then metaphysical endeavours. She started making her own pressed flower pictures as her children became teenagers, then began giving talks on how to make them to local WI groups. She also began using homeopathy, long before it was ‘trendy’, and became very interested in alternative healing. Not long after she heard about the Rosicrucians, and joined the UK branch of the organisation.
As part of the Rosicrucians, she learned ‘natural healing’ techniques, for which she was in high demand. All her children and grandchildren knew about her skills as a natural healer and phone calls were frequent asking for ‘healing please’. Her family and close friends had so many anecdotes of Leane’s healing causing positive outcomes that most of us had no doubt it worked – even if we had no idea how!
After her children grew up, Leane also was a keen volunteer for many years. She was very involved in Adult Literacy and helped many adults learn to read and enjoy books as she did herself (her own library grew to over 300 books!) and she also volunteered with people with terminal cancer, supporting them in the last days of their lives.
In her later years Leane was active in the national Rosicrucians, using her skills to become a popular speaker and workshop leader at conferences and gatherings in the UK and internationally. Her confidence in her own abilities despite all her accomplishments was still at times fragile, and she often had to be convinced to accept invitations to speak, but without exception she was always received extremely warmly and developed a reputation as an exemplary and knowledgeable speaker/leader.
Leane will be remembered affectionately by the very many people whose lives she touched during her 78 years, but most of all by her family who will always remember her smile, her laugh, her hugs and her passion for being the best wife and mum that she could be.