EastEnders actor Jake Wood has opened up about Dame Barbara Windsor’s battle with Alzheimer’s, as he prepares to run the London Marathon in her honour.
The 46-year-old, who plays Max Branning in the BBC soap, revealed the heartbreaking question that the 81-year-old had asked him shortly after her diagnosis.
“I spoke to Barbara about it quite early on and she was asking, ‘Why did it happen to me?’ And I didn’t have an answer,” Jake told The Daily Star.
He continued, “It’s such a dreadful disease with no rhyme and reason to it and it really had an impact on me.”
But, determined to do something to increase the public’s awareness of the condition, Jake is aiming to raise £10,000 for Dementia Revolution, by running the London Marathon alongside Adam Woodyatt, who plays Ian Beale, and Natalie Cassidy, who plays Sonia Fowler.
Jake’s touching interview comes just a day after the actress’ husband, Scott Mitchell, 55, appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about Jake and his co-stars running the marathon in her honour.
Scott heartbreakingly revealed that his wife – who began her battle with Alzheimer’s in 2014 – can no longer be left alone and now requires constant nursing care.
Scott revealed, “I used to feel very guilty about leaving her, so I could be stuck in the house for two or three days. When I did first have carers in I still felt a sense of guilt.
“But I also realised it is so important for me to have that little but of rest from the situation- otherwise you can’t keep strong. You need to keep strong for the other person.”
Although one thing that helps trigger the Eastender’s star’s memories is music therapy, as well as playlists that feature highlights of her career.
“She really loves that, she connects with it,” added Scott.
Words by Becky Waldren