Hi, and welcome to the JustGiving page for Lilac to Ventoux. I plan to cycle up Mont Ventoux on 25 May 2011, to raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease and funds for Alzheimer's research. I am doing this in memory of my Grandfather, David Sommerville (1910-2003), and in honour of my favourite author, Sir Terry Pratchett. 

Late in 2003, my grandfather, David Sommerville, passed away after a very long battle with Alzheimer's disease. Anyone who has experience of caring for someone with this terrible illness knows about the awful, inevitable deterioration that takes place. Grandpa was an alert, involved and interested man who loved his family, and who enjoyed being outdoors, whether for his daily walks (several miles), gardening or a round of golf. Born in Airdrie, Scotland in 1910, he lived during the course of his life in India (where he met my Grandmother, Constance, and where my Mum was born), Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (where I was born), and Australia. He and Granny had three children, who went on to give them nine grandchildren. He worked as a chartered accountant in the textile industry, served in the navy during WWII, and kept a daily journal for most of his life. 

Grandpa battled Alzheimer's for more than a decade. By the end of his life, the disease had stripped him of his ability to communicate, to care for himself, and to engage with what was going on around him. To end one's life in this way is a fate I would not wish on anybody. 

Naturally, I was very upset to read that Sir Terry Pratchett, my favourite author, had been diagnosed with a form of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.  

I loiter on the fringes of Discworld fandom, which is by and large populated with very good-hearted people, so it wasn't much of a surprise when, following Sir Terry's donation of £500,000 to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, fans decided to 'Match it for Pratchett' - raising funds with the aim of matching his donation. Many fannish fundraising activities now take place on what is known as The Glorious 25th of May, an important date out of the book ‘Night Watch’ – hence the date for my own effort, Lilac to Ventoux. 

For quite a while, I've wanted to ride up Mont Ventoux, one of the most challenging mountains to feature in the Tour de France. It's a pretty big challenge in itself, but to add a goal like raising Alzheimer's awareness makes taking on this challenge hugely more meaningful. Over the coming months, as I prepare for the ride, I’m hoping to learn a lot more about Alzheimer’s disease and the current state of the research, and I aim to pass this information on. I am also hoping to raise funds towards more research into Alzheimer’s. Your support in this would be very much appreciated. 

Lilac to Ventoux is also on Twitter (@lilactoventoux), LiveJournal ( and Facebook ( 

Thank you for reading, and thank you for your support. 




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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 23

Congratulations on winning against the mountain! Properly titanic stuff!

Donation by Piratemoggy Off The Internet on 29/05/11


+ £6.25 Gift Aid

Go Killy Go! Phew! Puff Puff! Lots of love Susan & Dawid xx

Donation by Susan Muller on 21/05/11


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Brilliant take to the hills - we'll stay on the water - both have the same goal. Thank you for joining the battle! Forgetmenotrowers...x

Donation by Jamie and Vicki Graham on 21/05/11

Donation by Tamsin on 21/05/11


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Donation by Anonymous on 19/05/11


On yer bike, love... with purple hair, preferably!!

Donation by Vicki Boxell on 19/05/11



Donation by Fiona Maltas on 19/05/11


Good luck collega!!

Donation by Noortje van den Bergh on 18/05/11


Enjoy your ride for a very worthy cause.

Donation by Jeremy & Fiona Callow on 18/05/11


+ £6.25 Gift Aid

I really want to see you in purple hair. Perhaps I'll do mine too, for Lilac Day.

Donation by Alaina Graves on 14/05/11

Good luck!

Donation by Mum and Dad on 13/05/11


Will be thinking of you on the 25th!! xx

Donation by Ashleigh Callow on 13/05/11


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

Heel veel succes! Bedankt namens het Rabobank VG projectteam.

Donation by Herman Klukkert on 12/05/11


Good luck!

Donation by Danielle Withrow on 05/05/11


Can't wait to see the purple hair. Go you!

Donation by Susan Berryman on 05/05/11


You go, girl! You can do it! :c)

Donation by Tracy Leeflang on 30/04/11


Heeel veel succes de berg op :-) Ik heb er vertrouwen in dat dit helemaal gaat lukken. Xx Claudia

Donation by Claudia Koppert on 28/04/11


Camilla ... I have memories of us "talking on-line" about your grandfather, long-long time ago. So, this is in honor and support of our long friendsh.

Donation by Martha Hughes on 25/04/11


Good luck! (Signal boost from RFM, donating for much-missed grandparents everywhere)

Donation by Rachel Kenneil on 18/04/11


Good luck!

Donation by Judy M on 13/04/11


Good luck with your ride and your fundraising! Hopefully we both make our goals this year and do some good while we're at it.

Donation by Stacie Yates on 03/03/11


Donation by Arnout Brokking on 11/02/11


It seems that it's working this time *g*. I've got a receipt at last. Good luck with your endeavours and may the Lord Pratchett bless you.

Donation by Linda Harries on 03/02/11


Donation summary

  • * Online donations£671.00
  • Offline donations£225.00
  • Text donations£0.00
  • Total raised£896.00
  • Gift Aid£52.50

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