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Susie Hewer

Dementia Revolution:The official charity team

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Hi, thanks for visiting my page where I am again raising funds for dementia research and to support those living with dementia.[/p][p]Today I have wonderful news and can finally announce that ARUK & the Alzheimer's Society have joined together to become Charity of the Year for the London marathon in 2019. I have dreamt about this ever since I ran my first London marathon 13 years ago! Their collaboration is called [b]The Dementia Revolution[/b] and naturally I will be running and supporting them at the Virgin London Marathon in 2019.[/p][p]My challenge for 2019 is in 2 distinct and very different parts although both involve running:[/p][p][b] * [/b]I aim to finish the London marathon in 4.5 hours or less [b](made doubly difficult as I've been on the injury bench for 3 months having resumed running with just 6 weeks to go!. I never say "never" though and will be giving it my all on marathon day!)[/b][/p][p]You could be forgiven for thinking that this will be easy for me, given that I've now completed 173 marathons, but I've tried to get below 4.5 hours twice before at the London marathon and each time I've tried to go faster something bad has happened:[/p][p]attempt number 1 - I was tripped up by someone dressed in a Little Miss Grumpy costume and ended up sprawled on the ground with bloodied hands and knees. I was whisked off to the medics tent and cleaned up before I was sent back out on my way to finish in 4:58.[/p][p]attempt number 2 - I was doing sooooooooo well until my chest started to feel tight and I had a massive asthma attack at mile 18 and had to stop for what felt like an eternity whilst people came and kindly tried to help. Stupid asthma! 4:55 for that debacle and I was absolutely gutted as my training had been really good and I'd felt strong.[/p][p]The last time I ran the London marathon was in 2015. It was my [url=http://extremeknittingredhead.blogspot.com/2015/04/3-marathons-in-4-days-part-iii.html]3rd marathon in 4 days [/url]and I had no thoughts of going faster. So what happened? Yep, I got a pb, finishing in 4:42. Until then my fastest time had been 4:52 set back in 2006. So the moral of this story is to train hard, run multiple marathons and just run how you feel on the day with no pressure![/p][p]Can I shave those pesky 12 minutes off my time? Well, I'll have a jolly good go at it. [/p][p][b]Update! My journey certainly didn't go to plan as my right knee started to play up at mile 16 and I had to walk from mile 19 onwards. I've never walked in the London marathon before and it was the most amazing experience because the crowd just carried me to the end, shouting out my name and encouraging me. I had a great big smile on my face and the commentators kept spotting me and calling me the lady with the biggest smile. So although it ended up being my slowest ever road marathon (5:30) it was certainly one of the most enjoyable. Thank you to everyone who's donated so far and I hope you aren't too disappointed with my poor showing at this event #coulddobetter[/b][/p][p]And there's more.......[/p][p][b] * I'm going to run another 100 mile event.[/b] [/p][p]Yes, I know I said I'd only ever do 1 x 100 miler but this one just had to be entered as the route it takes played such an important part in the history of our lovely country and takes in places I know very well, passing very close to where I live![/p][p]The event is the 1066 (a date we all know) ultramarathon and goes from London to Battle. You know the history - Having defeated the Vikings in York, King Harold marched to London whereupon he heard about the invasion by William of Normandy and promptly gathered his army and marched South towards Hastings. The men covered 30 miles a day in full armour for 3 days and arrived at the battlefield exhausted, whereupon they were beaten by William the Conquerer. A long distance public footpath called Harold's Way was created to mark the route taken from Westminster Abbey to Battle Abbey and this is the route we will be following. Unlike those brave men we have just 32 hours to complete the distance but thankfully we will not be wearing armour (nor will I be doing my knitting as one friend suggested!).[/p][p][b]Update: That didn't go to plan either! My 3 friends and I set off at 9am on Saturday with a deadline of 32 hours in which to complete the 104.5 miles route (no, not 100 miles after all!). We hated the first 60% of the route which took us along the concrete jungle that is the Thames path right up to the Thames Barrier. The weather was incredibly hot and humid and there was a distinct lack of aid stations so we found ourselves searching desparately for shops where we could purchase drinks to quench our thirst. The night section saw us trudging through areas of woodland and waist-high crops (with massive trip potential) and passing through the most unsalubrious parts of Rochester and Maidstone whereupon it started to rain and soaked the long grass which in turn soaked our shoes and socks. By this stage, one of our group was feeling very ill and kept throwing up so we had to slow down to try and help her through it. Sadly, she made the decision to pull out at which point we had lost so much time that we couldn't possibly make the deadline for the next checkpoint. Ironically we called it a day at the penultimate checkpoint, having completed 78 miles, just before we reached our beautiful Parish and so I didn't get to run through all the areas I'd spent months checking beforehand. Hey ho![/b][/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 in the last 14 years).[/p][p]You can keep up to date with my progress by checking out [url=http://www.extremeknittingredhead.blogspot.co.uk/]my blog[/url] where I write about my training amongst other things.[/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][br][/p][p][br][/p]
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Share Susie's story

Supporters

Jul 15, 2019

John and Mira

Huge congratulations on your achievement.

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Jul 14, 2019

Exhausted

The 1066 Race sounds a horror story. Hugs, kisses (and a wee bit of cash!) xxxxx

£30.00

Jun 13, 2019

Anonymous

Happy Birthday, Love from Karen, Mark, Sophie & Chloe xxxxx

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

May 1, 2019

Carroll

So proud of you Susie! You’re a heroine of neurodegenerative diseases!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Apr 27, 2019

Anonymous

Cash donation, non-taxpayer

£30.00

Apr 27, 2019

Anonymous

Cash donation from a stranger

£20.00

Apr 26, 2019

Dancehall

Go for it, you'll do it.

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Apr 20, 2019

David and Suzy

Hope the runs go well, thanks for your all your fundraising! Take care

Apr 3, 2019

Jan and Bill

Our very best wishes, Susie. Go girl!!!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Mar 20, 2019

Anonymous

OKO research interview fee

£40.00