Rugby Fan with Alzheimer’s Diagnosis Pursues Dreams at Rugby World Cup

A devoted rugby fan, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease during a PET scan, is using this challenging news as motivation to fulfill his dreams. Despite the diagnosis, he is set to embark on a journey to The Rugby World Cup on September 22.

Richard Dinnes, a 66-year-old regional manager, began noticing difficulties with his daily tasks at work. In 2019, he consulted his GP and underwent a PET scan, which revealed the distressing diagnosis of a brain disorder, albeit in its early stages. This diagnosis prompted significant lifestyle changes for both Richard and his wife, Ailsa, a 51-year-old program manager.

For eight months, Ailsa meticulously planned their bucket list trip, which includes attending three rugby games, starting with Scotland vs. Tonga on September 24. Their journey begins with boarding the Eurostar to Paris and continues to Nice for the first game. They will then travel to Lille to watch Scotland vs. Romania and finally, Scotland vs. Ireland in Paris.

Despite the challenges posed by Richard’s medical condition, including fatigue and disorientation, Ailsa is committed to providing support while respecting her husband’s desire to maintain control. They have also taken precautions, such as qualifying for the cognitive disability category, which provides extra assistance at the stadium.

After the rugby games, the couple plans to explore Milan, Venice, Switzerland, and Zurich. They will embark on a series of train journeys across four countries, sharing their experiences on a dedicated Facebook page to raise awareness about the early stages of dementia and the possibilities that still exist with support.

Ailsa also hopes to encourage Richard to keep a journal to record his thoughts and perspectives for their children and grandchildren. Alzheimer’s Scotland has been instrumental in helping the couple adjust to their new circumstances, providing a dementia advisor for support and organizing activities to help Richard socialize and maintain a sense of achievement.

Ailsa’s advice to those affected by Alzheimer’s is to stay active, socially connected, and positive, emphasizing the importance of helping individuals live their dreams, as they are doing with Richard.

Key Points:

  • Richard Dinnes, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, is fulfilling his dream of attending The Rugby World Cup.
  • His wife, Ailsa, has been planning the trip for eight months, which includes three rugby games and travels to various European destinations.
  • Ailsa is providing support while respecting Richard’s desire for independence.
  • They aim to raise awareness about early-stage dementia and share their experiences through a dedicated Facebook page.
  • Alzheimer’s Scotland has been a valuable source of support for the couple.
  • Ailsa encourages others affected by Alzheimer’s to stay active, socially connected, and positive, helping individuals live their dreams despite the diagnosis.

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