â€œI saw up close what Alzheimer’s does to a person and their family.â€
â€œThey say itâ€™s the long goodbye and it truly is,â€ says Gina Martin, a National Geographic Creative employee. The long goodbye she references is Alzheimerâ€™s. In 2011, Martinâ€™s mother, Diane, died after a five-year fight against the disease. â€œI saw up close what Alzheimerâ€™s does to a person and their family,â€ she says. And thatâ€™s why she decided to launch the Bob and Diane Fund, an organization that will promote and help finance photographic work about Alzheimerâ€™s and dementia.
The fund offers an annual $5,000 grant for stories that deal with loss or with the growing medical crisis caused by Alzheimerâ€™s, says Martin. â€œI want people to know that Alzheimerâ€™s is more than just memory loss. Itâ€™s so much deeper and devastating than that. It affects the family and the caregivers deeply. Itâ€™s a complete personality change of the person.â€ Martinâ€™s mom was diagnosed with Alzheimerâ€™s in 2006, upending her life and that of her family members. â€œMy father, Bob, was her loyal caregiver for five years,â€ says Martin. â€œHe died just three months [after Diane died].â€
TheÂ Bob and Diane grantÂ is open for entries until Oct. 15. The winner will be announced in November.
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45