ENTERTAINMENT
08/10/2018 11:35 BST | Updated 08/10/2018 12:08 BST

Barbara Windsor Speaks About Alzheimer's Diagnosis For The First Time

The veteran actress is calling for people to run the London Marathon in aid of dementia charities.

Dame Barbara Windsor has made a public plea for people to help raise awareness and funds to beat Alzheimer’s, in her first video message since her own diagnosis was revealed earlier this year.

The ‘EastEnders’ legend’s husband disclosed that she had been living with the condition for four years back in May, revealing the couple chose to go public as her symptoms had grown more serious.

Since then, she’s remained out of the spotlight, but has recorded a new video message, encouraging people to run next year’s London Marathon to fund dementia research and care.

Dementia Revolution
Dame Barbara Windsor

In the video, which is the first time she’s been seen on camera since her diagnosis, she says: “Well done all you lucky people who have secured a place to run at the iconic 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon. This year I’m asking you to make a stand against dementia.

“Use your place to run for the Dementia Revolution – for Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. Support groundbreaking research to find a cure for a condition that affects so many people, like me.”

In a blog published on the Dementia Revolution website, she added: “Living with Alzheimer’s disease myself, the opportunity to make a stand against dementia by supporting Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK as they raise funds for critical research is one I could not pass up.

“When my husband Scott and I went public about my diagnosis earlier this year, I was overwhelmed by the reaction and all the messages of support we received.

“Before we can develop life-changing treatments and ultimately a cure for Alzheimer’s and other causes of dementia, we must first change attitudes. I hope that by sharing my story, I can help raise awareness of this cruel condition and encourage more people to support dementia research.”

David M. Benett via Getty Images
Barbara Windsor and her husband, Scott Mitchell

Dame Barbara’s husband discussed her diagnosis in an interview with ‘Loose Women’ presenter and journalist Jane Moore, who is a friend of the couple’s.

In the weeks that followed, the actress recorded an audio message for Jane that was played for her on ‘Loose Women’ on her birthday.

She said: “Thank you, thank you so much for being a loyal and good friend and helping Scott share my recent news.

“I’d also like to say a big thank you to everyone for the lovely messages of support that I’ve been receiving, it really means such a lot to me, it truly does.

“Have a great day and have no fear, as I still intend to carry on, and God bless everyone.”

Read Dame Barbara Windsor’s blog in full on the Dementia Revolution website.