Here’s why some of our 40 x 40 team have chosen to run the Great North Run in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Marge: “I’m running because I’ve seen first hand the impact that dementia can have on a family. Dementia is a living bereavement. My step-dad has mixed dementia (Vascular Dementia and Alzheimer’s). Since he was diagnosed, I’ve watched how this horrendous disease can strip away everything that makes ‘you’, you. My Mum has lost her retirement she planned with her husband. Instead she has become a full-time carer. So I’ve seen the devastating impact that it can have on surrounding friends and family.  And I think more needs to be done to work out how to stop it. Oh, and I’m 40 years old in 2019. So I figured recruiting 40 people and raising £40k sounded like a fine plan.”

Lyndsey: “Dementia has affected my family badly and I believe strongly that more scientific research is essential for our future and the next generation.”

Rowena: “The symptoms of Alzheimer’s arrived quite young for Mum, before she’d had much of a chance to enjoy her retirement. For a few years after she was diagnosed we were still able to enjoy her intellect, wisdom and sense of humour, and have some cracking adventures together too. But it’s getting much harder to reach her now through the fog of dementia. It’s hard for a fiercely independent person to become so dependent on others. And it’s a hard thing to miss someone when they’re still here. Mum had been worried about symptoms for years before she eventually went to the doctors. Like many people, she was afraid to hear the diagnosis as she felt there was no hope of treatment. This is changing now because of the research of organisations like ARUK.”

Jane: “I am running the GNR to raise money for ARUK as more research is needed to defeat this terrible condition . I am experiencing, first-hand (as, sadly, many people are) the devastating effects Alzheimer’s can have – it is truly heart breaking to watch my poor Dad struggle with the condition & my strong, loving Mum try to cope with & care for him.”

Zac: “Dementia is such a devastating disease. Impacting not just those living with Dementia, but also their families. ARUK get no government funding, so we have to fight hard to make a difference. I am proud to be part of fortybyforty running for ARUK. The challenge was just what I needed to get my fitness back on track.”

Pamela: “I’m running in memory of my mum who died from Alzheimers earlier this year to help prevent this terrible disease from stealing our loved ones precious memories and dignity.”

Paul: “I’m running in memory of my Gran, Elizabeth Connor, who lived with Dementia in her final years. More research is needed to battle this devastating disease.”

Adam: “I’ve seen how dementia affects people and those closest to them, I just want to do my bit. And the chance to tick the Great North Run off my list is a bonus.”

Seonaid: “I will be doing this in memory of my Nanna Johnson. She developed Alzheimer’s in 1986 and as a child, I thought that the GP could make her better. This disease daily over a 7yr period took little pieces of a wonderful woman until she was in an almost vegetative state by 1993. The money raised will help research and hopefully spare others from what we went through. My goal is to raise £1,000 and run the GNR under 2hrs.”

Gyöngyvér: “My main reason to do this is my husband’s grandad, Graham. We have lost him to Alzheimer’s not long ago and I wanted to do something in his memory. Seeing a person fade away in front of your eyes is so very painful and it makes you feel so helpless – I am hoping that neither myself or the rest of my family will have to witness this again. I am quite probably the worst runner in the world, but I am determined to cross the finish line in September – for Graham, Delia, Anita, Danny, Josh and Henry.”

Caroline: “It’s a chance to raise awareness and much needed funds to try to support those and research for people and their families suffering from this awful disease. A chance to share an amazing experience with other link minded people.”

Mel: “I’m running in memory of my beloved Grandparents who suffered from this horrible disease.”

Kitty: “As a carer, I’ve seen the devastating impact dementia can have for families. With an ageing population, there is no better time than the present to take action and work towards finding a cure.”

David: “I’m running because I’ve seen the devestating impact that dementia can have on an individual and the family around them. More research needs to be done into this cruel condition.”

Berni: “It’s a good incentive to get fit again and raise money for research close to my heart. GNR has always been on my bucket list.”

Jenny: “I am doing this run in Memory of my Grandad who passed away from this illness and also my Grandma who has recently been diagnosed with it. This awful illness takes away so much from our loved ones and leaves them with such a vulnerability, it’s heartbreaking for the loved ones that live with it day in and day out.”

Rebecca: “I want to raise money because its a great cause. My husband is a care worker for people with dementia. I wanted a challenge and an opportunity to get out running.”

Kirsty: “My husband Paul’s Gran sadly passed away at the grand old age of 94. Sadly, she was diagnosed with dementia shortly before her death; however looking back through our memories, it is obvious that the disease had taken a grip of her a long time before her diagnosis. Thankfully when Paul and I got married in 2014, Gran had a brilliant time. Paul and I have some fantastic memories of Gran from this day and we are so thankful that she was with us and enjoyed herself so much. It wasn’t long after this day however that she started to deteriorate and was no longer the Gran that we all knew and loved. Paul and I are setting ourselves the challenge to run further than we ever have before and to raise at least £1,000 each for a very worthy cause, Alzheimer’s Research UK, who fund research into the causes and treatment of Alzheimer’s and dementia.”

Pamela: “I’m raising money for ARUK as more research is needed to defeat this terrible condition in our lifetime.  I’ve seen first hand the devastating effects Alzheimers can have and it’s truly heartbreaking. Mum sadly passed away of Alzheimer’s in March 2019. Most of us know someone living with dementia – today there’s over
850,000 people diagnosed in the UK – my mum Brenda is just one of
those. This number is predicted to reach 2 million by 2051. I’ve never been much of a runner so the Great North Run half marathon is a real challenge for me. But it will also be a team effort as I’m running with 40 people –  hopefully between us we can raise £40,000 for a very good cause that is close to my heart.”