Story

Well, I'm at it again! Who was it said that you should take it easy when you reach your 50s? I've decided it doesn't apply to me anyway and I shall again be running a series of marathons to help raise awareness of the effects of dementia and hopefully to raise more money for the Alzheimer's Research Trust who do amazing work to try and understand how to prevent and treat all forms of dementia.

It is a cause very dear to me as having watched my poor dear mother taken away by dementia I cannot rest until I have raised more money for research into this dreadful disease. Please read mum's story and you'll see why I feel compelled to do this.

Since I started running in 2002 I have run many races but I only started running marathons in 2005 when I ran my first London marathon in aid of the Alzheimer's Research Trust. So far I have completed 15 marathons (that's 13 marathons of 26.2 miles plus 2 ultra marathons of 35 and 52.4 miles respectively).

The marathons I'll be doing this year are the Steyning Stinger in March (completed in 5:38, shaving 57 minutes off my time last year!), London Marathon in April (my 13th marathon, on the 13th April, where I beat my own Guinness World Record for the 'Longest Scarf Knitted Whilst Running a Marathon'!), Three Forts in May (a very hot run across the South Downs, slowed down by a groin strain but completed in 6:25), Beachy Head in October (completed in 6:15 which is 5 minutes slower than last year!) and Hastings 100th Anniversary Marathon in December - 5 in total. Take a look at my blog at www.extremeknittingredhead.blogspot.com to see how my training's going.

Mum's Story:

In 1997 my mother, then aged 81, had a series of minor strokes. Shortly after that we started to notice behavioural changes notably memory loss and confusion over everyday items. We thought it was just old age finally catching up with her. Then she started wandering and had violent mood swings. Although she already lived with us it became obvious that she couldn't be left alone for long and so I left my job to care for her. The next few years saw a gradual decline into the blackness that is 'vascular dementia'. My normally placid mum became violent and aggressive. She had psychotic incidents where she would see imaginary people (children hiding in her wardrobe, Russians sitting on the stairs, women stealing her clothes) and she would shout at them and sometimes throw things too. She was so convincing that we used to go and check that there wasn't anyone there! When my sister died mum did not know who Judy was or that she was her daughter. There came a point when I suddenly realised she no longer knew that I was her daughter and this was a terrible time for me. In the last 2 years that she lived with us, life for us all became almost unbearable as she needed 24 hour care - she couldn't be left alone at all because she would either wander off or hurt herself, she never slept for more than 30 minutes at a time during the night, she became incontinent and incapable of doing anything for herself. Finally my husband and I realised that we could no longer provide her with the care that she needed and she went to live in Castlemaine where Harry and his team did a splendid job caring for her. There she lived a zombified existence unaware of who she was, what she was or where she was. It was heartbreaking. She died in March 2005, the day after her 89th birthday.

Thank you for taking the time to read my page and I hope you'll dig deep and sponsor me to help find a way of beating this destructive disease. Donating through this site is simple. fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: the Alzheimer's Research Trust will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.

Many thanks for your support.

Raising money for

Alzheimer's Research UK

Alzheimer's Research UK

Charity Registration No. 1077089

Alzheimer's Research UK is the UK's leading dementia research charity. As research experts, we fund world-class pioneering scientists to find preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia. We encourage everyone to join us in supporting research and achieving a world free from dementia.

Donations 34

happy xmas

Donation by karen,mark,chelsea on 19/12/08

£15.00

+ £4.23 Gift Aid

for FECK 5 miler.

Donation by ultracat on 07/11/08

£13.10

+ £3.69 Gift Aid

Good luck on the Beachy!

Donation by madforknit on 13/10/08

£10.00

Keep running and knittingxxxxx

Donation by caramac on 25/09/08

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

happy birthday

Donation by karen,mark,chelsea on 15/06/08

£15.00

+ £4.23 Gift Aid

Keep on running

Donation by Sandra Stubberfield on 15/04/08

£100.00

+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Sorry we're a little late...but well done you! Very best wishes from two fellow runners in Brighton

Donation by Natasha & Jon on 15/04/08

£10.00

+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Hope you had a good run xxxx

Donation by Sharon, Paul, Thomas and Emma on 14/04/08

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Enjoy the day

Donation by Buneybune on 12/04/08

£15.00

+ £4.23 Gift Aid

Bet you can't knit a scarf while you do Beachy. Good luck for tomorrow!

Donation by Jan B on 11/04/08

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Go Susie, Go! Well done on all your continued efforts!

Donation by Jane & Michael (True) on 10/04/08

£10.00

+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Give em hell!! Good Luck and I hope you raise more than your target. Come on you Spurs!

Donation by Stephen Bourne on 09/04/08

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Good luck with the London Marathon!

Donation by Marina on 06/04/08

£20.00

In memory of Mum and to all those carers of Alzheimer's out there this is for you as well. I really

Donation by John J on 28/03/08

£100.00

+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Good luck Susie and thanks for your help with the piece.

Donation by Olinka on 26/03/08

£10.00

+ £2.82 Gift Aid

It's too cruel a disease. Well done and run strong.

Donation by anonymous on 24/03/08

£60.00

+ £16.92 Gift Aid

Full of admiration! Good luck this year.

Donation by John & Ann on 20/03/08

£25.00

+ £7.05 Gift Aid

Just want to see that funky video of you running in circles knitting

Donation by Clarks Motorcycles (Den & Dan) on 18/03/08

£250.00

you train so very hard to deserve to raise lots and lots of money

Donation by ceal on 17/03/08

£10.00

A very worthwhile cause that sadly touches too many people's lives. Good luck and well done.

Donation by Rachel Rennison (Den's friend) on 09/03/08

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

That's the Jamieson Heather Aran I didn't buy in February ;-)

Donation by Marina on 02/03/08

£20.00

My knitting money for February. Good luck.

Donation by Lizzypops on 29/02/08

£35.00

+ £9.87 Gift Aid

The knitting I understand. The running I don't. Good luck- good cause!

Donation by Judy G. on 27/02/08

£10.00

Well done

Donation by Matthew on 26/02/08

£10.00

+ £2.82 Gift Aid

Good luck and you are very inspiring !!!

Donation by Pete English on 22/02/08

£25.00

+ £7.05 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£1,048.10
  • Offline donations£1,280.15
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£2,328.25
  • Gift Aid£199.72

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.