A 23-year-old is believed to be the youngest adult in the UK to be diagnosed with dementia.
After his mother sadly died from the disease, Jordan Adams, from Worcestershire, was told the chances of him inheriting the condition was less than winning the Euromillions.
Though he does not currently show any signs of the illness, doctors have said he could be affected by it at any time, losing the ability to walk, talk and eat for himself.
Jordan was also told he may only live to his 50s, like his mum Geri, who died aged just 52.
You can watch Jordan’s story here:
The 23-year-old was told by doctors he would develop early onset frontotemporal dementia and Parkinson’s disease after inheriting a gene which causes degenerative conditions from his mum. They also told him his health will deteriorate as he gets older.
Jordan now plans to have his sperm screened for the gene, so that he and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Lucy Thomas, can start a family before his symptoms develop.
The young man also has plans to start ticking things off his bucket list already, with a trip to Hawaii, buying a house and skydiving all in the pipeline.
When I was told the diagnosis I was devastated.
We had been in the waiting area for what seemed like hours – it was only 10 minutes but it felt like an eternity.
As soon as I walked into the room I knew it wasn’t a positive result. Nobody can prepare you for that.
If there are no advancements then I’ll have a shorter life than most. It’s like a death sentence.
It’s very hard to explain. We’re all dealt cards in life and I was just incredibly unlucky.
Jordan received the news after he and his sister Kennedy, 25, decided to get themselves checked for the gene after seeing their mum suffer with the condition over a period of six years.
The family first noticed something wasn’t right with Geri in 2006, when she suddenly began acting out of character. However, she was not properly diagnosed until 2010, and sadly passed away in 2016.
Mum was full of love and very much a people person. No one had a bad word to say about her, she was very kind and lovely.
We’d noticed irregularities in her behaviour. I remember one Saturday she went to pick up Kennedy from school but it was a weekend. Her character changed from being a loving woman and she became quite cold.
She seemed to lack compassion which was a huge change from when she’d covered us in love.
She slowly got stripped of her communication. She couldn’t talk a lot and then she began to lose her mobility and couldn’t go out alone.
As the disease progressed she lost the ability to walk and care for herself and for the last 18 months she was bedridden. It was heart-wrenching.
Despite his initial reaction to the diagnosis, Jordan and his girlfriend have discussed plans for their future together, and are determined to have a positive outlook on life.
I feel like the diagnosis is actually a licence to live.
It’ll make me step back and appreciate the bigger picture. It’s going to allow me to make choices to live a fulfilled life.
His sister, Kennedy, has praised Jordan for his courage and newfound perspective on life. She also set up a GoFundMe page to help Jordan achieve his bucket list goals.
To help Jordan and other people affected by the disease, you can donate to the charity DementiaUK here.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.