Susan Coorey's Family Journey with Alzheimer's Disease

26 Jul 2016

CHeBA Blog: Susan Coorey's Family Journey with Alzheimer's Disease


Losing a loved one in your family to Alzheimer’s disease is painful and for Susan Coorey, member of Team CHeBA since 2015, the impact is manifold. Susan lost her grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease in 1992 and in January this year she said goodbye to her Aunt Rita as a result of Alzheimer’s disease.  Her beloved Mother also has the condition.

“Alzheimer’s disease is very traumatic, not just for the person diagnosed but also for those around them. Our family has been affected multiple times and it really emphasises the need for greater research in the area,” said Susan.

“CHeBA’s focus on improving understanding, early diagnosis and community awareness of the disease, especially lifestyle changes for prevention, gives me hope that other families may avoid what ours has experienced.”

Research indicates the disease process generally begins 20 to 30 years before the symptoms of dementia become apparent. This provides a window of opportunity for implementing strategies targeting risk and protective factors for dementia to prevent or delay symptoms.

“Findings that our lifestyles in our 20s, 30s and 40s can impact our brain health in late life motivates me to start making changes now. Participating with Team CHeBA in the 2016 City 2 Surf not only gives me the opportunity to implement some of these changes, I am also raising much-needed funds to advance research into interventions to reduce dementia incidence.” 

In 2015, Susan raised over $1,000 for CHeBA’s research. Co-Directors of CHeBA, Professor Perminder Sachdev and Professor Henry Brodaty extended their appreciation to Susan and commended her for supporting healthy brain ageing from a young age.