I’ve launched forty by forty today. It’s a bit daunting because I’m not sure whether I’ll reach my goal. But I’m going to bloody well try.

Like all the best ideas, forty by forty came along after a few gin and tonics: how can I mark my 40th birthday in 2019? Would it possible to find 40 people who are willing to raise £1000 each for Alzheimer’s Research? Could we realistically raise £40,000? This seemed like a big enough challenge.

After a few calls to Kelly in the events team at Alzheimer’s Research UK we made a plan to start recruiting early. And of course they’re excited about the prospect of a large team working towards such a great fundraising goal. But it is a challenge – it’s a lot of money, and not everyone is as keen on running 13.1 miles as I am.

So why Alzheimer’s Research? I often look after someone living with dementia (my step dad, the chap in the photo here), so I’m all too aware of how the disease ‘dismantles’ someone’s  personality. It’s truly devastating for the people around them – as they watch their loved one slowly slip away. For my step dad that’s involved him losing his speech, his motor skills, his ability to deal with his own personal care…I could go on.

Unfortunately Alzheimer’s research isn’t particularly well-funded. But there’s a desperate need to up our game in this field if we’ve any chance of getting our act together before the predicted rise in this disease takes hold.

Over the next couple of years I’ll be using this blog to document forty by forty. Hopefully by the next entry I’ll have recruited a few more participants to our team. So if you’re reading this and you fancy a challenge in 2019 – please join our team.

“Many people think dementia is just a natural part of ageing which means they don’t realise that it is something we could, one day, defeat.” Christopher Eccleston

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