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Sydney Harbour Splash joining the cause to cure Dementia

Nick Young and Nicole Stanners from Dementia Research Community, the charity partner of the Sydney Harbour Splash discuss the role of the Community and how dementia has affected their lives.

The Sydney Harbour Splash is this Australia Day, Thursday, 26 January and this year they are partnering with the Dementia Research Community to raise funds for the devastating disease.

Did you know that there are more than 480,000 Australians living with the disease and it is the country’s second leading cause of death?

This year Nick Young, president of the Dementia Research Community and Nicole Stanners vice president of the Dementia Research Community are taking part in the Sydney Harbour Splash one-kilometre event in a bid to raise more awareness and funds for the Dementia Research Community.

Both Mr Young and Ms Stanners have been affected by dementia in different ways but have made it their mission to raise funds to find a cure for the disease.

“My family has a long history of dementia, both my grandmothers having the disease,” said Mr Young.

“Then my dad was diagnosed with dementia in 2011 and after a long 12-year battle he sadly passed away in August of 2022.

“My mum, Dianne Stanners, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia) in early 2016,” said Ms Stanners.

“I sadly lost her at the end of 2019 and it really is a terrible disease. It is really tough to watch someone you love disappear slowly until there is nothing left of them.”

Nick Young with his dad Doug

Mr Young and Ms Stanners both got into ocean swimming for different reasons, but this year, they will both be swimming the Sydney Harbour Splash for the same reason – dementia.

“I grew up next to the beaches of Cronulla, so I was fully into surfing and ocean swimming as a kid but it wasn’t until 13 years ago when I got into triathlons, that my love for ocean swimming really took off,” said Ms Stanners.

“I’ve done a couple of ocean swims, but this year I’m really excited for the Sydney Harbour Splash and for a good cause.

“I can’t wait to support Reidy and his mum, Trish, who is battling dementia and to also honour my mum, Dianne, all while raising funds and awareness for the Dementia Research Community.”

“I got into ocean swimming a bit differently to Nicole, I started triathlon and did my first sprint triathlon in Canada and quickly fell in love with triathlon and jumped to the Olympic distance,” said Mr Young.

“I then went up to 70.3 and completed multiple Ironman triathlons, and along the way realised that swim training was a must to ‘survive’ an Ironman.

“So, instead of lap swimming in the pool, I got into ocean swimming, which I enjoy much more and now love doing some laps at Coogee.”

Both Ms Stanners and Mr Young are looking forward to the partnership that the Dementia Research Community has with the Sydney Harbour Splash and are hoping to raise more awareness of dementia in the community.

“I’m excited about this partnership and hope that it will be a long one where we can continue to drive awareness of the disease,” said Ms Stanners.

“As well as raising money for a cure, we’re having a bit of sporting fun in the water along the way.

“When we formed the Dementia Research Community we wanted to bring people together who had a common goal – to raise awareness of dementia and help find a cure for the disease,” said Mr Young.

“Partnering with the Sydney Harbour Splash is going to help us achieve these goals and with Reidy’s mum being diagnosed with dementia the cause is even closer to the heart for him.

“Statistics show that many more of the participants in the swim this Australia Day will have a direct connection to dementia than we know.

“And while there is no cure, raising awareness of the disease, through events like this, media and word of mouth, will put us one step closer to a cure.”

Donate to the Dementia Research Community here.

Find out more about Dementia on the Dementia Research Community website.

Events discussed in this article

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  • Written by Ocean Swims on 24 January 2023
  • (Updated on 10 August 2023)
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