Thirty-Year-Old Dad Becomes One of UK's Youngest Alzheimer's Sufferers
As far as diseases go, Alzheimer's is surely up there with some of the cruellest - robbing sufferers of their memories, independence and ability to recognise loved ones before ultimately killing them.
For most, the onset doesn't come until later life, but in rare cases Alzheimer's can set in much earlier.
30-year-old Daniel Bradbury has become one of Britain's youngest sufferers of the condition and, even more devastatingly, has learned that his 18-month-old twins have a 50% chance of developing it in later life.
Daniel's father died from the illness when he was just 36 and, having initially decided not to get tested, Daniel himself was diagnosed shortly after his kids' 1st birthdays.
Daniel, who suffers from short-term memory loss, confusion and problems with his balance, lost his engineering job in July last year when he began showing symptoms of the disease.
The former aerospace worker took a trip to his GP where he underwent a series of tests and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's last September.
Daniel, who lives with partner Jordan Evans and their twins Lola and Jasper, is now attempting to raise money so that he can take his family on a final holiday before his memories begin to fade.
He said: 'I try not to think about it. I live day by day with both good days and bad days. It does not just affect me, it affects everyone around me as well.
"I do not know how long I have till it takes a real hold on me. I want to be as much of a dad as I can for as long as I can be.
"As my memory fades I am hoping to create lasting memories for my partner and our children so that one day they can look back on the videos and photos of us all together and cherish them.
"I remember my dad going through it in 1999. The doctors didn't know he had Alzheimer's at that time but it was horrible to watch.
"I realised something was wrong at work when I struggled to grasp problems and concentrate. I was lethargic and couldn't remember how things worked.
"When I am asked about what the future holds I just say that I think about providing memories for Jordan and the kids. They are the ones who matter."
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Doctors have now warned Daniel he should expect his symptoms to accelerate due to his young age.
His brother Sean, 28, has also been tested for the disease but has been given the all clear. His younger brother Alex, 23, on the other hand, has decided he does not want to find out.
Tragically, Daniel's children now have a 50 percent chance of developing the illness when they reach their father's age.
Partner, Jordan, an NHS worker, said the rush is now on to make the most of the time they have together as a family.
She said: "We had a suspicion something was not right but were praying that it was not this.
"We were very shocked and devastated by the diagnosis. It was particularly difficult to hear that the children have a chance of getting it too.
"We have tried to find out about getting them tested for the gene but they cannot legally be tested until they are 18 and they must make the decision for themselves.
"Daniel's dad died in 1999 but at the time the cause of death was put down as neurodegeneration on the death certificate.
"Because of his age, the hospital kept samples of his brain for future research.
"Daniel had a brain scan after he started feeling very lethargic in January 2016 and that's when his dad's brain samples were tested in a lab in Edinburgh and the results came back that he had Alzheimer's and Daniel may have inherited the same gene.
"Daniel found this out when I was pregnant but we didn't want to find out for definite because it was a happy time.
"When he lost his job in the summer because he was under performing we knew something wasn't right so he went to the doctors and in September was told it was Alzheimer's.
"It's been really hard for us but we are determined to live every day to the fullest.
"We try and have some non-Alzheimer's days when we do not talk about it. When the babies get older they can remember how great a dad he was."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS