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 2013 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 the money available for dementia research has improved slightly (thanks to a pledge made by the current Government), I am still concerned that it is vastly underfunded, with much more work to do, 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.

Having now completed 29 marathons & 2 ultra marathons, running 7 marathons in one year and marathons on consecutive weekends I needed a new challenge so that you don't all think it's getting too easy for me!

So, as well as running 2 marathons, I shall be doing a streak.  "WHAT?!"  I hear you cry!  Don't panic, it's not that sort of streak (which would completely inappropriate for a woman of my advancing years!!!) - it's a running streak which means I will be running every day for a specified period of time.

As always there's a link to what's going on in my life (usually my age!) so here's what I'm planning to do:

The Start:

- On 14th April I will run the Brighton marathon and I want to beat my previous time set there of 4:55. ***Completed in 4:48:29, a new personal best (pb) time for a marathon beating my long-standing pb from 2006!***

The Running Streak:

- On 21st April my running streak begins with the Virgin London Marathon where I will be knitting my way round again.  For those of you who don't know me, I hold a Guinness World Record for the longest scarf knitted whilst running a marathon - I do like to multi-task!  ***Completed in 5:54:23 and I beat my previous record by knitting a massive scarf 2.05 metres long - and jolly heavy it was too!!!***

- At the beginning of 2013 I will still be 55 years old and so from Sunday 21st April I will run at least 5.5 miles each day on the 55 days prior to my birthday on 16th June.

- On 16th June I will be 56 and so from that day on I will run at least 5.6 mies each day for 56 days.

So that will be a total streak of 111 days (oooh, I like all those 1's!).  The other link is that 2013 is my 11th year of running.

Why is this such a challenge for me?  

Firstly, although I'm used to running marathons and training hard I always take 2 days of rest each week to let my body recover from the rigours of my training schedule.  So I have no idea how my body will react to the extra pressure.  Plus I have a touch of arthritis in my feet (oh the joys of getting older!) so I have to make sure that my shoes are very well cushioned.

Secondly, I have Asthma which caused me untold problems in 2012.  I am determined not to let it stop me running well in 2013.  Please excuse my coughing and wheezing if you see me out training on the hills!

I know many people reading this will have sponsored me many times already, for which I am very grateful.  But all donations will be most welcome and will go to fund vital research into this devastating disease.

You can follow my progress on my blog at: http://extremeknittingredhead.blogspot.com/

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 London marathon in her memory 2 weeks later.

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

03.10.13 My poor aunt died of Alzheimers and, although there was a very small turnout at her funeral, this was the collection. I hope it helps.

16.06.13 Happy Birthday, love from, Karen, Mark, Sophie and Chloe xx

04.06.13 Susie you are an inspiration - well done! With love, A, L & E (and the kitties) x

01.06.13 Cash from Coffee morning and cake sale in Ewhurst Green 31/5/13

08.05.13 Brilliant! I see you've exceeded your target already, and got a lovely big warm scarf into the bargain.

24.04.13 Good luck with your mammoth task. I had an uncle die of Alzheimer's and I know how awful it is. I hope you manage to raise lots of money for such a worthy cause. I also love knitting.

24.04.13

23.04.13 Good luck with your awareness campaign, running and fundraising from a fellow knitter, spinner and extremely noobie runner! :-)

23.04.13

23.04.13 Great idea for a worthy cause.

23.04.13 sending you all my best wishes for your running goals - such a worthy cause

23.04.13 Good luck and best wishes. Thank you for all your hard work.

23.04.13 Well done, Susie.

22.04.13 You are an inspiration!

22.04.13 I knit and my Mum had dementia. Saw your story on the Deramores Facebook page. Wanted to help a little... :-)

22.04.13 Great stuff, combining knitting and running - wow!

22.04.13 Well done!!

22.04.13 I am 55 also, a knitter and runner (not at the same time!), our moms were born about the same time and my father-in-law had the same dementia as your mom. Best wishes for your streak and fundraising this year.

21.04.13 keep up the excellent job !

21.04.13 Well done! I'm in my fifties and both my parents had dementia, oh nod I knit! I know I could not do marathons any more (my last was in 1982!). You're an inspiration!

21.04.13

21.04.13

21.04.13 That's some challenge - knitting's hard enough just sitting down at times! Happy knitting and running =)

21.04.13 Good Luck!

21.04.13 Good luck Susie. Your mum's story is similar to my mum's story the only difference being she lived in Australia and I am in UK so unable to care for her. She started with vascular dementia in much the same way at the same age and also lived to be 89.

£2,620.18

Running total

Target:
£1,200.00
Total raised incl. Gift Aid:
£2,858.68
Total donors:
44
Last donor:
Julia Hill
03.10.13  
Offline fundraising:
£995.00