We would like to pay tribute to our friend Wendy Mitchell who sadly passed away this week.

Wendy was known and loved by many for her resilience and for her candid insights into what it is like to live with dementia. She defied the odds by writing three books – including Sunday Times bestsellers – which helped countless people to understand a little better what it is like to live with dementia. And she regularly appeared on national TV and radio where she discussed her thoughts and experiences about the disease.

For us here at Join Dementia Research, Wendy was our most prominent and steadfast cheerleader. She was a friend and advocate of the service over many years and she generously gave her time to raise awareness of the importance and impact of dementia research in her role as a Research Champion.

She felt strongly that research was the key to a better future for people living with dementia. She wanted to convey that research was accessible to all and that it took many different forms, giving options for those with a dementia diagnosis. She was keen to dismiss myths about research and wanted as many people as possible to consider research as a way of helping themselves and others.

We invited Wendy to be involved with the launch of the service nine years ago and she was still speaking about the service at public events and meeting clinicians up until very recently. We were so fortunate to have her input and support over so many years, something very few people with lived experience of dementia are sadly able to sustain.

She had poise and she spoke from the heart in a way that struck a chord with people. The video that she recorded with us just over a year ago reached the most people of any of our films, generating thousands of views in the first few days of going live, such was the resonance Wendy had with the public.

We will remember Wendy as a strong, courageous woman who refused to give in to dementia and instead lived every day to the full. We are grateful to have known her, we are particularly thankful for the light she shone on the importance of dementia research and her unwavering support for Join Dementia Research. 

Our thoughts are with Wendy’s family and friends, and especially her daughters Sarah and Gemma. We know that they will be proud of the strong legacy she leaves.