A daredevil fundraiser is gearing up to abseil 529 ft. down an iconic London landmark to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.
Francesca Girardelli (Frankie), from Fareham, will scale Broadgate Tower on 8th September, before descending the almost vertical skyscraper to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Frankie’s Dad, Adrian Girardelli was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 55, despite the family not having any history of the disease, and since then it has rapidly transformed the entire family’s lives.
Frankie will be supported by her colleagues at local organisation Allied Office Machines and partners at Ricoh EMEA, as they hope to raise as much awareness and donations as possible, to fund groundbreaking research to change the lives of individuals and families affected by dementia.
Frankie, 29, said: “When I heard about the abseil, my immediate reaction was, I have to take part. This was something I wanted to do for my Dad, but also for families just like mine. I believe with the right support, people can live very well with dementia, I’ve just watched ‘The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes’ on Channel 4 and it showed just how anything is possible!
“My concern is that with all the work amazing charities like Alzheimer’s Research UK undergo, this area of research remains extremely underfunded, and for that reason, I am choosing to face my fear of heights and raise vital funds and awareness for dementia research.
“Although this will be a huge challenge for me, it doesn’t compare to the daily struggles of someone living with Alzheimer’s or any kind of dementia for that matter. That’s why we must do everything we can to find a cure.”
Kate Moss, Senior Corporate Partnerships Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “I am blown away by how brave and determined Frankie has been in her fundraising efforts for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Our mission is to bring about a life-changing dementia treatment and it’s incredible individuals like Frankie who will help make that possible. From everyone at Alzheimer’s Research UK, we’d like to say thank you for all your hard work so far and good luck with your abseil!”
According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, dementia is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the UK. Yet just half (51%) of the public recognise that dementia can cause death. The overall number of people developing dementia is increasing and this will continue to rise unless we find effective treatments to slow, stop and prevent the diseases, like Alzheimer’s, that cause dementia. Through improved public awareness, for example Frankie’s abseil, this will help to challenge the social stigma around Alzheimer’s. This will encourage more people to seek help when symptoms of dementia appear, while also building much-needed support for dementia research.
Ambitious Frankie has already raised just over £400 for Alzheimer Research UK and is determined to grow her donations. To help Frankie reach new heights, please donate to her Everyday Hero page here.