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Susie Hewer

My 2020 Challenges to Defeat Dementia

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]I'm fundraising for Alzheimer's Research UK, the UK's leading dementia research charity dedicated to diagnosis, prevention, treatment and cure. Like me, Alzheimer's Research UK believes that medical research can and will deliver life-changing preventions, treatments and one day, a cure for dementia and ARUK exists to make this happen and that's why I'm fundraising and why I really hope you'll sponsor me. Together we'll make life-changing breakthroughs possible.[/p][p]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 £56,000+ for ARUK and completed 176 marathons, at the time of writing, in the last 14 years).[/p][p]My final plans for 2020 are still in the embryonic stage but one thing's for sure - my main event will be the 1066 Harold's Way 100 mile event which I had to abandon in 2019. You can't keep a determined redhead down! The other definite event is the Brighton marathon, as part of my training, where I wil be pacing my friend to help her get a personal best time (which feels like a huge responsibility!).[/p][p][b]Mum's story:[/b][/p][p]At the centre of all this is of course my mum who you can see in a photo below taken on a visit to Wisley gardens when she was in the very early stages of dementia.[/p][p]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.[/p][p]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 a special Care Home 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.[/p][p]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. [/p][p]Thank you for taking the time to read my page. Please donate to this fantastic cause! I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.[/p]
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Personal Challenge Date

16 Apr 2020


Jul 29, 2019

Rebecca Burton

Good Luck Susie xx