Susie Hewer


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

Susie Hewer

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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 over £50,000 for ARUK in the last 12 years).

This time I needed something extra special to draw attention to Alzheimer's Research UK. My last challenge saw me run 52 marathons in 52 weeks and I joined the very special 100 Marathon Club. This of course has meant that I can't just say that I'm going to run a few marathons in 2018 and expect people to make donations!

So this time it's getting really serious and will take me way out of my comfort zone - I'm going for a very long run. 100 miles to be exact (my tummy does a somersault when I even think about it!). I wanted it to be extra challenging and it seemed like a logical progression from my 60th birthday challenge, especially as I will still be 60 when the event takes place. Although I have already completed 12 ultra-marathons (which is a race over the standard marathon distance of 26.2 miles but usually considered to be anything over 27.5 miles) the furthest I have ever completed in one go is 54 miles.

The event I've chosen takes place in March on farm tracks in East Kent and there is a 32 hour time limit which of course means that I will be running through the night in total darkness. That alone is very scary for me as I have exceedingly poor eyesight and my night vision is not great. Add to that the thought of putting one foot in front of the other for such a long time.........well, that's very scary indeed.

But that's the whole point of a challenge isn't it! Please read 'Mum's Story' below to see why I am so passionate about pushing myself to raise funds to defeat this dreadful disease.

You can keep up to date with my progress by checking out my blog where I write about my training amongst other things.

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.

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