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 2014/15

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. 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 far I have raised £40,000+ for ARUK).

You can keep up to date with my progress by checking out my blog

My next Challenge is extra special for 2 reasons:

i) 2015 marks the start of my 60 by 60 campaign. What's that then? Well, I am going to try and get my marathon tally up to 60 by my 60th birthday in 2017 so I've got a few more to go to reach my target! 

ii) in November 2014 it is exactly 10 years since I first linked up with ARUK (who were then known as Alzheimer's Research Trust) and I ran my first marathon, in London, for them in 2005, 2 weeks after my mum died. As at the end of October 2014 I have clocked up 38 marathons so you won't be surprised to learn that there are a few more in the offing!

So I started with a theme of '10' for my 10 years of association with ARUK which of course has developed into something to do with my age in 2015 (58). 5 + 8 = 13 so I shall be doing 2 marathons to finish off 2014 and then 11 marathons in the first 10 months of 2015. To make it a total of 13 marathons in 12 months. The other good thing about 13 is that in February 2015 it will be 13 years since I started running. 

Simples! *As I seem to be running well at the moment (fingers crossed and all that!!!) I've now made my challenge even tougher so that I have to complete my 60by60 challenge by the end of this year. This means I have to complete 20 marathons this year rather than the 13 I'd plannned.*

I've also given myself the task of supporting local marathons mostly in Kent, Sussex and Surrey (plus London marathon of course), in 2015 and so there will be many I've never run before, which is rather exciting!

29th November: Saxon Shore marathon Deal, Kent. Run along the Saxon shoreway. Marathon 39 completed in 5:16

5th December: Dymchurch marathon, Hythe, Kent. Lots of sea views and Martello Towers. Marathon 40 completed in 5:24:25

11th January: Martello Marathon, Folkestone, Kent. More sea breezes and Martello Towers! Marathon 41 completed in 5:00:15

22nd February: Hugin Challenge, Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate, Kent. Run marathon distance or further in the time limit of 6 hours. Marathon 42 completed in 5:29

29th March: Port of Dover marathon, Dover, Kent. Mulitple laps along the Dover Seafront and Prince of Wales Pier. This is the last time the Pier will be used in this way before the regeneration of the Dover Western Docks Revival. Marathon 43 completed in gale-force wind and rain in 5:19:59

23rd April: St George's Day marathon, Walmer, Kent (fancy dress is encouraged!). Marathon 44 completed in 4:52:01

24th April: Wonderland Caucus race, Samphire Hoe, Kent (fancy dress is encouraged!) to celebrate 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Marathon 45 completed in 5:43:19

26th April: London marathon. A bit soon after the previous two but it will be my 10th running of this iconic marathon so it would be rude not to do it! Well I certainly did it justice coming home with a surprise personal best time (by 6 minutes) of 4:42:17 in the 3rd of my marathons in 4 days. That wasmarathon 46

25th May: The Cakeathon, Deal, Kent - a marathon with lots of cake! Marathon 47 completed in 5:25:09

30th May: Kent Roadrunner marathon, Gravesend, Kent. With 17 laps around the cyclopark. I may get a bit dizzy. Marathon 48 completed in 5:03:46

7th June: Viking Coastal marathon, Birchington, Kent. Along part of the Viking Coastal Trail heading towards the ruins of Reculver Castle. At least I get a week's rest before this one. Marathon 49 completed in 5:17:26

12th July: Ranscombe Challenge, North Kent. A 12 hour trail event in which you can run as much or as little as you like. Marathon 50 completed in 6:15:45

12th August: Battle of Britain 75 Challenge, Samphire Hoe, Dover, Kent. Run marathon distance or further in the time limit of 6 hours. Marathon 51 completed in 6:02:07

31st August: The Cakeathon, Deal, Kent. - another marathon with lots of cake! Marathon 52 completed in 5:32:57 and I won a trophy for my vegan cake creation!

23rd September: Tolkien marathon, Dover, Kent. A celebration of Tolkien week (the Race Director is a great fan of Tolkien and even named his daughter after a flower in Lothlorien!). Marathon 53 completed in 5:42:43

27th September: The High Weald Ultra marathon. A trail marathon with extra miles! Marathon 54 with 31 hilly miles completed in 8:06:30

11th October: The Sussex marathon. A hilly route around Heathfield. Marathon 55 of hilly miles completed in 5:14:37

24th October: The Beachy Head marathon. My favourite trail marathon! Had to miss this due to a chest infection affecting my asthma so replaced it with the Hugin challenge below.

1st November: The Hugin Challenge. At beautiful Pegwell Bay in Kent. Marathon 56 completed in 5:09:44

25th November: The Oyster Bay marathon. Another marathon in North Kent.

29th November: The Dymchurch maraton. Aka 'Grimchurch' because it's all run on concrete - ouch! Completed in 5:19:31[/b]

5th December: The Battle of Waterloo marathon. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of this battle. Completed in 5:03:15[/b]

19th December: The Usual Suspects marathon. This will be an emotional affair for many reasons. Completed in 5:29

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

14.06.15 Happy Birthday, love, Karen, Mark, Sophie & Chloe xxx

23.05.15 Well done Superwoman!! love Ross and Max xx

06.05.15 You're an inspirational ambassador for Alzheimers UK. Don't forget to give yourself some TLC, too!

05.05.15 Well done Susie - amazing achievements as always for an excellent cause

29.04.15 You are amazing!

27.04.15 Susie, you are a superstar! Thank you so much for raising awareness about Alzheimers & Dementia. So sorry to hear about your reason for fundraising, continue to float on air as you run, must be uplifting!My O/H has Parkinson's &Dementia. Heard U on BBC Sx

27.04.15 Wow Susie, you are amazing and thank you so much for raising awareness of Alzheimers. So sorry to hear about your Mum. My hubby has Parkinsons & dementia and anything that can be done to help find a cure for this demeaning condition will be embraced.

27.04.15 You are one amazing very special lady. Well done once again.

25.04.15 Heard you on Radio Sussex. Wow !

23.04.15 Good luck for Sunday - enjoy every minute and the large glass of wine at the end! Take care and have a fantastic run, I'll be thinking of you! Xxx

23.04.15 Good luck Susie! A great effort for a great cause

21.04.15 Fantastic ambition Susie, and thanks for all your help in promoting www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk too!

06.04.15 Good luck, Jean and Duncan and family

28.01.15 Good luck with your running challenges for 2015. I will stick with the knitting.

25.01.15

28.12.14 Happy Xmas, Karen,Mark,Sophie & Chloe

09.12.14 Well done Susie on number 40! all our love, Sharon, Paul, Thomas and Emma xxxx

23.11.14 Thank you for the owl and the very best of luck with your mission Jackie x

23.11.14 Thanks for the owls. :-)

04.11.14 Sorry it's only £1 for each year but money's tight at the moment. My grandma has Alzheimer's and it's horrible. I always read your blog and it helps to hear what you write about looking after your mum.

£2,248.00

Running total

Target:
£2,000.00
Total raised incl. Gift Aid:
£2,474.25
Total donors:
20
Last donor:
Karen
14.06.15  
Offline fundraising:
£1,218.00