BARBARA Windsor can no longer remember her friends’ names five months after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis was made public, it has been revealed.
The icon’s former EastEnders co-star Kellie Shirley, 37, has told how the condition has “robbed Barbara of her memories” to the point she struggles to call her by her name.
Barbara Windsor can no longer remember her friends’ names five months after her Alzheimer’s diagnosis was made public[/caption]
Speaking to the Sunday Express’s S magazine, she said: “A massive part of being an actor is remembering things. Your memories are such a big part of who you are. That’s why I feel for Barbara. She remembers so much about the past as clear as day yet she won’t remember my name.
“We still have funny moments. It’s not bleak all the time, but it is hardcore. It’s a cruel disease that robs you of your memories.”
Kellie, who has been friend with Barbara, 81, for over a decade, has teamed up with the Carry On star’s husband Scott and a team of other soap stars to run the London Marathon to raise money in her honour.
She continued: “Any time I’m in town for an audition I’ll meet up with Barbara and Scott for a cup of tea. I’ve always done that. I’m training with Scott so we meet up on a Friday, run together and catch up. I find running so boring so chatting makes the time go faster.”
The icon’s former EastEnders co-star Kellie Shirley, 37, has told how the condition has ‘robbed Barbara of her memories’[/caption]
Lat month it was reported that Barbara is “desperate” to find a cure for Alzheimer’s before she dies.
The acting legend was diagnosed with the disease in April 2014, with her husband Scott making the news public last year.
The 56-year-old is running the London Marathon next month with a number of his wife’s former EastEnders co-stars – called Barbara’s Revolutionaries – in a bid to raise £100,000 for vital research.
Speaking to The Daily Star Sunday, Scott said: “The heartbreaking thing is a cure is possible.”
Scott is raising money for Dementia Revolution, which is a joint venture between Alzheimer’s groups to fund the essential research.
He added: “They believe in six years a cure or at least major breakthrough could be found with the right funding.
“That is what we are aiming for. We accept it would be for future generations.
“We both know it will be too late for Barbara but she still wants to do what she can to help find a cure. We both do.”
The couple, who have been married for 18 years, were left devastated when Barbara received her diagnosis five years ago.
But Scott revealed his wife takes “great comfort” from the fact they are trying to help others in a similar position.
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He said: “Barbara always did a lot for charity and knowing she is helping the Dementia Revolution is at times helping us both cope with what we are going through.”
Scott will be joined by EastEnders stars including Jake Wood, Adam Woodyatt, Natalie Cassidy and Emma Barton at the London Marathon on April 28.
They have managed to raise £42,000 so far and Scott hopes his wife will be well enough to see him cross the finish line.
He said: “We are all praying Barbara will be waiting for us at the finish line. She wants to be there but we just don’t know yet.”
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