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