Denise heads for the chop

Denise Robinson of Waterlooville who is having her head shaved for charity''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132050-1)
Denise Robinson of Waterlooville who is having her head shaved for charity''''Picture: Paul Jacobs (132050-1)

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WATCHING her father change before her eyes, Denise Robinson vowed to try and stop the same fate befalling other families.

Graham Rutter, 74, was diagnosed with dementia two years ago and Denise feels he is slowly slipping away from them.

The 42-year-old, of Elmwood Avenue, Waterlooville, is preparing to shave off her long locks to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

She said: ‘All his life dad has been a plumber but he started forgetting how to do even basic things he’d always done.

‘He would tell you something and forget he’d told you and repeat himself.

‘It’s as if he can’t put two and two together in a conversation any more.

‘My dad is changing so much.

‘He gets confused about who people are and it’s so hard to see my dad like that.

‘He is still my dad but he’s not the way he was.’

Denise has got ME and said she chose to shave her hair off because she does not have the strength to undertake a physical challenge.

‘I used to be on the go all the time,’ said Denise.

‘But because I can’t do a run or skydive I decided I would have my hair shaved because my hair means everything to me.

‘I’ve always had long hair and it’s half way down my back.

‘It’s in good condition so I’m going to sell my hair to try and make as much money as possible.

‘As the day gets closer I get more and more nervous.

‘My dad keeps asking me why I’m doing it and I say, “for you dad”.

‘We keep reminding him about it but he keeps asking me why I’m having it done.’

She said her husband Nathan doesn’t mind her chopping off her locks.

She added: ‘Although it’s hard for me to see my dad changing it’s even harder for my mum because she is with him, looking after him, 24 hours day, seven days a week.

‘I imagine it can be very frustrating for her at times.

‘I’m aiming to raise £1,000 to try and help other people who are going through this.’

The head shave is taking place tonight at The Swan pub, Jessie Road, Bedhampton at 7.30pm.

The public are welcome to go along and sponsor Denise.