Soldier inspired by his grandad’s health fight

Joseph Connify 17, with his grandad Eddie Bracken 76, whose fight against Alzheimer's has inspired him to raise awareness of the condition.
Joseph Connify 17, with his grandad Eddie Bracken 76, whose fight against Alzheimer's has inspired him to raise awareness of the condition.
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A YOUNG soldier has been inspired by his grandad’s battle with dementia to raise money for research into the condition.

Joseph Connify’s grandfather Ed Bracken, 75, has been diagnosed with a rare form of the illness, called fronto-temporal, which affects his behaviour and personality rather than memory.

The 17-year-old wanted to do something to help, in honour of his grandad, so is preparing to do a 10-mile run in aid the Alzheimer’s Society.

Joseph, from Millfield, said: “I just wanted to try and help him as much as I could. There needs to be more research done into the disease as not many people know what he’s got.

“I’ve got about £200 in sponsor money so far. I’m just looking to raise as much money as people can give me.”

Former St Aidan’s pupil Joseph is running the 10 miles on his week’s leave from the Army where he is training to be in The Corps of Royal Engineers.

Joseph said: “I’m starting the run next to my house on Chester Road and I think I’ll be finishing at South Shields.

“I haven’t done any special training for it. I’m in the Army so I do enough training any way.

“My grandad is really proud of me and pleased that I’m doing it.”

Joseph’s mum, Natalie, is a full-time carer for Ed.

Natalie said: “He was only diagnosed with the disease a few months ago. It was a long process. Since then Joseph took it upon himself to do this for him.

“He organised everything. Hhe decided he wanted to do something and thought of doing this run. I could not be more proud.”

@Sunderlandecho