‘Emmerdale’ star Charley Webb is backing Alzheimer’s Research UK's search for a cure, to avoid heartache for her children.

‘Emmerdale’ star Charley Webb and her mum Helen

‘Emmerdale’ star Charley Webb and her mum Helen

The 35-year-old actress - who is best known for playing Debbie Dingle in ITV’s soap - is helping to raise awareness of the disease, after her mum Helen was 64 years old when she was diagnosed with dementia in 2015, and now requires round-the-clock care.

According to studies, new figures have revealed that one in two people will either develop dementia themselves or care for someone with the condition.

Almost one million people in the UK are living with a form of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease the most common cause. Despite this, there are no treatments currently available in the UK to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia.

As a passionate supporter, the soap star - who has sons Buster, 13, Bowie, seven, and Ace, three, with her 'Emmerdale' co-star and husband Matthew Wolfenden - stands behind Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vow to find a cure, because she does not wish her three children to suffer the same heartbreak she did.

She said: “The years since my mum developed Alzheimer’s have been the hardest of our lives.

“Every day is a challenge and brings difficulties which we struggle to come terms with. Even though my mum is still with us, I miss her so much.

“She was the head of the family and a working mum who was always on the go. My dad died when I was 15 and she had to play both the mum and dad roles. She was great. Mum now struggles to string a sentence together and gets very emotional, but she moved into a care home around four weeks ago and is settled.

“Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease and the more research we can do, the better – finding a cure is so important. It has such a devastating impact on families and the thought of my children going through what we did frightens the life out of me. Diseases like Alzheimer’s take over your life and I’ve missed chunks of my children growing up because I’ve been so focused on helping Mum.

“The incredible work of Alzheimer’s Research UK gives me hope that one day dementia will be a thing of the past, but the charity needs our help to get there. I’m proud to support the charity and I’d urge others to join me. Too many lives have been lost to dementia and a cure would mean the next generation don’t have to go through it. We need to put a stop to it.”

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, added: “We’re so grateful to Charley for bravely opening up about her family’s heart-breaking experience of dementia and raising awareness of the desperate need to find a cure.”

You can support Alzheimer’s Research UK by donating, fundraising, volunteering and campaigning. To find out more about the charity and how you can help visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

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