Mum on top of world after challenge to raise awareness of dementia

A brave mum is feeling on top of the world after completing her latest challenge to raise awareness of a form of early onset dementia which she and her children may one day develop.

Hannah Mackay waving from Altitude 44.

Hannah Mackay 'ditched her slippers and got off the sofa" to climb the UK's tallest highwire in Skegness in less than an hour, as part of 10 days of 'crazy fundraising challenges' across the country.

The 36-year-old mum of two from Sussex was inspired by her father, who developed early onset frontal temporal dementia at the age of 61.

She arrived in Skegness after completing the world's fastest zip wire, a velodrome cycle challenge, abseiling, canoeing a Scottish canal and sailing a yacht.

Hannah Mackay waving from Altitude 44.

Before that she completed the National 3 Peaks Challenge and a sky dive.

With her feet firmly back on the ground after the final drop from the 21-metre Altitude 44 attraction in Skegness, Hannah explained: "In 2017 my dad at 61 was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia and although loved very much he is no longer the dad I spent my life knowing.

"My mum has gone from being a wife to a carer for their retirement and we are unable to help him as his condition deteriorates and he struggles more and more with everyday life.

"In our case and many others it has been found to be genetic and I have been told that unless a treatment can be found I too will definitely develop the condition in the future which in turn heartbreakingly gives my children a 50 percent chance of having the condition.

Hannah Mackay with her father and children.

"So my aim is to do all these challenges to raise awareness of the different types of dementia.

"Altitude 44 is a brilliant, brilliant challenge - I hate heights.

"I loved it. Parts of it was totally totally terrifying - but it was amazing. I can't believe I went all the way up there."

So far Hannah has raised £8,182 of her target £12,000 on her Justgiving page for the Alzheimer's .Society.

Hannah Mackay on Altitude 44

Altitude 44 manager David Sneddon said: "Hannah did a fantastic job. She really rose up to the challenge - and it was especially great because she is raising awareness of dementia.."

Aso there to support her and raise awareness of the dementia support available in East Lindsey through a project called Still Me were Tracy Wilkinson and Lizzie Atkin of Magna Vitae, who also run Altitude 44.

"Still Me is run in partnership with Louth and District Hospice and offers physical and cultural projects in Skegness, Louth, Horncastle, Spilsby, Alford and Mablethorpe.

"It's really important that Hannah is a young person because it is usually older people who raise awareness.

Hannah Mackay on Altitude 44.

For more details of the programme, visit


Early Onset Dementia typically affects people aged 45 to 65, it doesn't discriminate and can affect anyone. Brain tissue dies and this affects people’s memory, personality, identity and behaviour. It is a life limiting degenerative condition for which currently there are no treatments or cures resulting in a short life expectancy and results in people loosing their lives and leaving loved ones way too soon.

Whilst there are currently no cures for early onset dementia there is hope because a really good amount of research being undertaken by medical experts. who are working tirelessly to develop treatments.

This afternoon, Hannah has a meeting in Cambridge at the Dementia Research Unit and on Saturday she faces her final challenge when she pushes herself to her limits by completing the London Marathon Memory Walk.

To donate to Hannah's Justgiving page, visit here.

Hannah Mackay on Altitude 44.

*See Wednesday's Skegness Standard for more pictures of Hannah's amazing challenge.

Hannah Mackay on Altitude 42.
Hannah Mackay on the drop at Altitude 33.
Hannah Mackay completes the Altitude 33 challenge.