Susie Hewer

Charity

Alzheimer's Research UK
Alzheimer's Research UK is the UK's leading dementia research charity. As research experts, we specialise in funding world-class, pioneering research at leading universities to find preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia. We believe science and innovation hold the key to defeating dementia and invest in the scientists learning more about the condition and its causes. Our findings improve the lives of everyone affected by dementia now and in the future. We forge partnerships with Government and other key organisations to make dementia research a national priority. We encourage everyone to join us in supporting research and achieving a world free from dementia.
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Susie Hewer's fundraising page

Fundraiser: 
Susie Hewer

My page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/extremeknittingredhead

Hi, thanks for visiting my page where I am again raising funds for Alzheimer's Research UK.

Although I've now completed 24 marathons, I am still concerned that resesarch into dementia is vastly underfunded and so I have to keep on running!  

For anyone without experience of dementia and the horrors that it brings, please read mum's story below and you'll see why I think it's so important to raise awareness about the disease and I continue to raise money for vital research.

So in 2012 I shall be entering into the spirit of the Olympics by pushing myself even harder.  The theme of my challenge is the number 5 - I shall be running 5 marathons, I shall be 55 this year and it will be my 10th year of running (which is again 2 x 5 so there are lots of connecting threads).  Plus, later in 2012 ARUK celebrates it's 20th year of ground-breaking research.

The marathons I'll be running are the same as when I turned 50, 5 years ago, and I want to better my time in each one:

22nd April Virgin London Marathon.  My 7th running of this amazing race where I hope I can finally beat my pb of 4:50:55 which I set in 2006 which is actually the year before I turned 50, making it even harder.  I have to use this time to beat as ever since then I've been doing either knitting or crochet whilst I ran round and my time was always just under 6 hours!

6th May The Three Forts Challenge.  27 gruelling miles up on the South Downs. Last time I ran this it poured with rain the whole way round and I fell over on a slippery slope, limping home in 6:21.

9th June The South Downs marathon which I ran on my 50th birthday in 2007 in 5:50.  It rained for 1/2 of that one too!

2nd September The Kent Coastal marathon over in Thanet.  Oh boy was it hot last time I ran this and I finished in 5:40

27th October Beachy Head marathon.  My favourite trail marathon and arguably the toughest of the year.  My best time for this is 6:05 and I'd love to get round in under 6 hours this time.

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 several years ago mum did not know who Judy was or that she was her daughter.  The moment that I finally realised she no longer knew that I was her daughter 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 in the final months of her life.

There she lived a zombified existence unaware of who she was, what she was or where she was.  It was heartbreaking.  She died in 2005, the day after her 89th birthday. I ran my first marathon in her memory 2 weeks later.

You can keep up to date with my antics by checking out my blog using the link below.

Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.

Recent donors

05.10.12 Don't jump!

14.06.12 Happy Birthday, Love from Karen & Mark xxx

01.05.12 Keep running Susie, see you this Sunday for the Three Forts Challenge!

23.04.12 Amazing stamina, as ever!

21.04.12 Hi Susie, I'll be cheering you on as you run on Sunday. My own dear mother suffered from vascular dementia so your fundraising effort has a personal meaning for me. My donation comes with heartfelt thanks to you.

20.04.12 We admire your dedication for such a good cause. Good luck!

08.04.12

05.04.12 Redhead's rock!

29.03.12 Hope your doing the Liverpool marathon this year. Be great to see you here. Lots of love to ou both x

23.12.11 Happy Xmas, Love from Karen, Mark & Chelsea xxxx

19.12.11 To get you going. You go girl! xxx

£1,230.00

Running total

Target:
£1,000.00
Total raised incl. Gift Aid:
£1,402.50
Total donors:
11
Last donor:
Den & Russ
05.10.12  
Offline fundraising:
£540.00