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Running down Dementia

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Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK) has launched its 2017 campaign for runners to raise money to fund extremely important research into dementia and future treatments. Currently around 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and 1 in 3 people over the age of 65 will go on to develop dementia – we need to tackle this growing health crisis urgently.

The Running Down Dementia Challenge asks people to run 100km and raise £100. Last year NPL’s Andy undertook this challenge but spiced up the task in order to raise more funds – this included a lot of long very hilly runs and the worst part was running at two separate parkrun events wearing an Aston Villa shirt (he is a Birmingham City fan). He became the UK’s highest fund raiser for the challenge with over £3,200 raised.

You may have attended the presentation given by Andy promoting dementia awareness – more than 80 people have attended his talks and more are planned for the future.

Andy’s motivation is based on personal interaction with loved ones who are living with dementia. Last year Andy dedicated his campaign to his mother who has vascular dementia (and was living at home with Andy’s father, and being cared for at weekends by Andy), his father-in-law who had mixed dementia (vascular and Alzheimer’s) and his deceased aunty who died of vascular dementia. This situation has changed somewhat in the last few months – after Andy’s father died on New Year’s Eve, Andy’s mother entered a specialist care home where she now receives 24/7 attention and is living relatively well with her condition. Andy’s father-in-law died a couple of months ago after a rapid change in his health.

So this year Andy will be dedicating all of his efforts to all three of his relatives (past and present), plus all of those people that live with dementia, and especially for their carers who often have life changing decisions to make with respect to caring for their loved ones.

Andy is just recovering from a period of ill health where he has not been able to run, and ran for the first time in a couple of months on 23rd May. He still intends to run as far as possible and will aim to run as much of this distance on hills and tricky terrain – he wants to earn the sponsors’ hard-earned money. He will still attempt to include at least 10km ascent within his runs (the Height of Everest) much of which will be on mountain / hill trails.

Andy asks anyone who wants to support this cause to sponsor him on his Everyday Hero page which can be found at https://runningdowndementia2017.everydayhero.com/uk/andy

Did you know that 24.6 million people in the UK (38% of the population) know a family member or close friend living with dementia?

You can contact Andy on andy.morris@npl.co.uk

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