A family has been left heartbroken after a young ski instructor was diagnosed with dementia in her early 30s.
Becky Barletta received the news that she was suffering with a rare type of the neurological disorder last year, only months after getting married.
She is thought to be one of the youngest Britons to ever develop the disease, which tends to affect people in their 70s and 80s.
The particular form of dementia which Becky is suffering from affects the fronto-temporal lobe and has previously stricken a number of her relatives. Both her uncle and cousin have lost their battle with the illness.
The Cambridge News reports that the 32-year-old has already suffered a dramatic shift in her personality – in fact, it was these tell-tale changes in behaviour which first alerted her loved ones that something was seriously wrong. Sadly doctors predict she is unlikely to live more than a decade.
Her sister Sophie said that the family had found it difficult to come to terms with Becky’s dramatic deterioration.
“I find it hard when we go out,” she told the newspaper. “She is off down the street asking people if they can make a funny noise and that sort of thing.”
The family are now planning to organise a memory walk at their home later this month, with hopes that the event will raise valuable funds for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Their JustGiving page said: “Whilst unfortunately this will not help Becky, we know she would want us to try and halt this vile disease in its tracks for the benefit of the future generations in our family and other families who have been affected by dementia.”