Part of the Prevention, Part of the Cure

JRTVimg.jpgAfter crossing the finish line of the Leeds Half Marathon in 2014 I swore to god that I would never, ever put myself through the experience ever again. The last 3 miles were the longest of my life, I hurt, I had more blisters than I could count and even the prospect of a BBQ feast at the end couldn’t rekindle my motivation.

This year I’ve decided to give it another go, and not only because I want to challenge myself to run faster either.

As a child I never lived more than a 5 minute walk away from my Nanna and only about a 10 minute walk from my Grandma. Both of my Grandfathers passed away when I was quite young, so I really appreciated having my Nanna & Grandma so close by.

As both of my parents worked full-time, school holidays were split between their houses and I would spend my days creating, playing and watching TV with two of my favourite ladies on the planet. I loved listening to them recall memories from days gone by and at the time I probably didn’t fully appreciate being able to spend such good quality time with them.

I mean at that age you don’t do you?

I remember going to see my Nanna in my early-Twenties and sitting at the bottom of her bed whilst she talked about Mum & Uncle. To her they were at school and I was nobody. I can’t remember how long it took from her being diagnosed with Dementia to get to this stage but I know it was a long time.

It was the little things at first, not being able to remember what time or day it was. After a while this progressed to what month and year it was.

It was heartbreaking to see, but I became slightly resilient to it.

Although my Nanna was no longer the woman that I had come to know and love over the years, she was still the same person she had always been; loving, trusting and caring. That memory of sitting at the bottom of her bed is one of my final memories of spending time with her and it is one that I will always cherish because she was so happy despite everything.

I know first hand how heartbreaking Dementia can be and it terrifies me that I am going to have experience this again and again in my lifetime and that is why I’ve decided to run the Leeds Half Marathon against this year and have set myself the target of raising £300 for Alzheimers Research UK.

Why £300? Well £300 could pay for a genetic test to help identify risk genes and to know that I had raised enough money to help fund just one of those tests would make every minute of training, every mile I run and every blister I gain worthwhile.

At the moment I’m a long way off of hitting the magical 13.1 miles that I will need to hit in May but I’m getting there, I’m feeling stronger with every training session and I’m reaping the rewards of running more … my little legs are looking more shapely than ever so that’s another good reason for running hey?

So to those who ask me why I’m running the Leeds half this year (when I said I would never do it again) my answer is because I want to be part of the prevention, I want to be part of the cure and I refuse to sit back and watch Dementia take anyone else from me without a fight.



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