My name is Colin.  I'm one of the lucky ones.  I've been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and Vascular Dementia and I still live a good life.  My wife Angela and I go out and enjoy ourselves.  We walk our dog and like to go out for meals...but I still have to do the dishes at home!

When I was diagnosed by Dr Kumar from memory services, he suggested I did cognitive stimulation therapy.  I wasn't too keen on this, but Angela persuaded me to go.  I found I made new friends and actually enjoyed it.

Then I was persuaded to do a photography group.  I wasn't as worried about that because some of my new friends were going too.  We did photo collages and our art was displayed in Ripon Cathedral with a card saying 'Artist: Colin Galloway'.  Now you can see my art in The Bridge.

My next challenge was doing some public speaking at the opening of The Bridge.  The things I get talked into!

Then I was interviewed for BBC local news and my wife and I spoke about our experiences of living with dementia.

Now I go to an art group at Creative Cafe on a Thursday from 1-2pm.  It's a good laugh.  I have a good chat and it keeps my brain stimulated. 

I was also part of a group that did a train ride.  Newcastle University students filmed and interviewed us.  It was to help railways be more dementia friendly.  I went to Saltburn for fish and chips but my hat went to Northallerton.  I met my hat again at Middlesbrough!

Angela says "I've got a different husband.  An artist, public speaker, photographer and TV personality.  He's a changed person altogether.  He's cracking jokes and is fun to be with".

I'm getting a lot more outspoken about dementia now.  I don't care who knows I have it.  I attend a group called 'Our Voice Matters - Hartlepool'.  It meets monthly to explore ways to make Hartlepool dementia friendly.  This article is one thing I'm doing for that.

Colin with his wife, Angela