Story

In June 2007 I celebrated my 50th birthday.  Such a momentous occasion had to be marked in a special way so what else is a girl to do but run some marathons plus an ultra marathon of 52.4 miles!  The events I ran are the Draycote 35 mile race in February (completed in 7:36:40), the Steyning Stinger marathon in March (completed in 6:34:06), the London marathon in April (completed in 5:50:06), the SIS South Downs marathon on my birthday in June (completed in 5:50:34) and then the biggy, the Kent 50 mile challenge in July which is actually 52.4 miles (completed in 13 hours 20 minutes!) I've been recording my training on my blog at www.extremeknittingredhead.blogspot.com, so please go and take a look and follow my highs and lows. 

As I’ve run the London marathon twice already I decided to make it a bit more of a challenge this time.  With the help of the lovely people at www.laughinghens.com, who provided me with needles and yarn, I ‘extreme knitted’ my way round,   finishing a scarf and setting a Guinness World Record (tm) for "The Longest Scarf Knitted Whilst Running a Marathon"! My heartfelt thanks to Susan at www.knitonthenet.com who has kindly publicised my antics on her website and sponsored me as well.

Mad woman! I hear you cry.  That's as maybe, but 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:

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.

Updates 0

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.

Raising money for

Run by Alzheimer's Research UK

Charity Registration No. 1077089

Donations 61

Very well done, Susie. Every success with your fundraising efforts.

Donation by Helen Gembles on 15/08/07

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

Very well done Susie - good luck with the big one!!

Donation by Jane & Michael (Tun Wells) on 25/06/07

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

well done indeed!!!

Donation by dave on 16/06/07

£20.00

HAPPY 0TH BIRTHDAY SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY WHEN WE CELEBRATED YOUR 30TH!

Donation by kAREN,MARK,CHELSEA on 14/06/07

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

Good luck on your birthday and well done!!

Donation by Candida Machin on 06/06/07

£25.00

+ £7.05 Gift Aid

Fancy marathon running being short distance eh?.......

Donation by Mary massage lady on 17/05/07

£30.00

+ £8.46 Gift Aid

Here's to the next one!

Donation by anonymous on 03/05/07

£100.00

+ £28.21 Gift Aid

Thanks for your 'support' at Draycote, you ******* ******* ***. Happy running!

Donation by Jan B on 01/05/07

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Next year a patchwork quilt ?

Donation by Teresa on 27/04/07

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

just don't fall over your scarf!!!

Donation by Den on 27/04/07

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

I have a rehead daughter - will she be as mad as you? Amazing experience for you. Well done

Donation by KateS on 25/04/07

£10.00

+ £2.82 Gift Aid

What a fantastic achievement RH

Donation by Andy Poole on 25/04/07

£10.00

Couldnt resist to sponsoring you. Well done

Donation by Marcello Manzi on 24/04/07

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Good luck on the rest and Well done on the London Marathon

Donation by Hayley Coldron (Tsuki) on 24/04/07

£5.00

+ £1.41 Gift Aid

Well done - knitting and running, my two favourite things!

Donation by Kat Munn on 24/04/07

£10.00

You area star in every sense of the word. Your Mum would be proud of your achievements

Donation by ceal on 23/04/07

£10.00

Read your details on the BBC - good luck.

Donation by Gordon on 23/04/07

£3.00

+ £0.85 Gift Aid

Hope you have great runs this year, you are doing fab! xxxx

Donation by Sharon, Paul, Tom and Em on 22/04/07

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Just seen you on the BBC. Hope you have a great time and break that record!

Donation by DQ on 22/04/07

£3.00

Good luck with the run, I saw you on the BBC and as one knitter to another, just had to support you

Donation by Amelia Jones on 22/04/07

£30.00

+ £8.46 Gift Aid

Run strong Red, Helegant

Donation by Helen Gardner on 21/04/07

£26.20

+ £7.39 Gift Aid

I bumped into you on karen's glove KAL - and I'm pleased I did. Your tale is inspirational! g'luck

Donation by Tutleymutley on 20/04/07

£5.00

+ £1.41 Gift Aid

Sadly I recognise the story, and my Mum still knits on her better days.

Donation by Stuart on 19/04/07

£50.00

+ £14.10 Gift Aid

with love from the knitonthenet team

Donation by knitonthenet.com on 17/04/07

£200.00

+ £56.41 Gift Aid

It would have been double for a WWW

Donation by John Johnson on 17/04/07

£20.00

+ £5.64 Gift Aid

Donation summary

  • * Online donations£1,612.20
  • Offline donations£2,000.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£3,612.20
  • Gift Aid£431.31

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