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Issue:- 5 September 2013

Doves fly in mission for Michael

8 doves will be released in 1 family's tribute to a brother as more than 900 people gather on Sunday, 8 September 2013, for the Aintree Memory Walk.

A record number of people have registered to take part in the annual Alzheimer's Society event; and more are expected to sign up on the day.

25 members of a single Merseyside family will be there to remember Michael Millar, who died with Alzhiemer's.  His sister Diane Millar, of Liverpool Road, Birkdale Village, Southport, said:- "Mum brought 8 of us up on her own while being a pub landlady for 22 years. We are a big family; Michael was the eldest and was like a dad.  He was amazing, giving and made us all laugh. He was so strong. Then in his early 50s he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  By then he was living in Australia and when I met him later I couldn't believe he was my brother; I thought, where has he gone? He couldn't remember anything.  He came to be unable to recognise his wife Carole and had to go into care when he became a danger to himself."

His mum Noreen Millar ran a series of pubs, including The Clarence, Bootle, and was well known for supporting children's charities.  Diane said:- "Michael went on to emigrate. He was the best brother, father, husband, granddad and a great friend. He died with Alzheimer's aged 60.  He used to race pigeons and doves represent hope, happiness and love, so we decided to remember him by releasing them at the walk."

A specialist in white doves has given his services for the day and on their release walkers will be invited to remember loved ones during a one minute silence.

Walkers have a choice of a 2km stroll or a 10km stretch at Aintree, on 11am Sunday, 8 September 2013. More details are available at:-

Alisha Wittham, Diane's niece, who has ME, started the Millar family's mass support for the walk. She is determined to complete it in her wheelchair.

Singer Lilli Moore (22) of Windermere Road, Wirral, whose Nan Mary lived with Alzheimer's, will also perform a song from her album Memory Lane at the walk.

Alzheimer's Society Community Fundraiser, Fran D'Arcy, said:- "The release of the doves and Lilli singing will be special moments on a great day in support of 16,000 people across Merseyside living with dementia. The response has been brilliant with more than 900 people registered already; with more signing up on the day we hope over 1,000 walkers will take part."

Please not that Walkers will be able to boost their sponsorship by doing the Bupa Memory Mile, for which Bupa Care Homes will donate £2.50 for each 1 to Alzheimer's Society.

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