Lucy and her best friend, Annabel, have both been personally affected by the impact of Alzheimer’s and they have decided that they are going to run the Leeds Half Marathon in memory of Annabel’s grandad and Lucy’s relative. They aim to raise £1,000 to go to the Alzheimer’s Society.
Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease and it is estimated 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Lucy and Annabel both share similar stories of sadness since both their loved ones suffered from the disease, with Lucy’s relative passing just a couple of months ago.
Here, they tell their stories and what has inspired them to do the half marathon in their memory…
Charles Meredith was a remarkable man.
In the 1950s he was recognised as the youngest Magistrate in the country and he was a Counsellor for Stalybridge in Cheshire for 49 years. He was awarded an MBE for his services to the community during his time as Mayor of Stalybridge, then of Tameside.
This disease does not discriminate and almost 5 years ago Charles was diagnosed with dementia and it took a terrible toll on his wife of 68 years, Edna, who looked after him. Edna was supported by her four sons who invoked power of attorney to allow them to act on the family’s behalf. It is a cruel disease that strips somebody away in front of your eyes, but despite this, his loved ones always remained close and positive.
We were so lucky that we had family to help look after Charles through such difficult times and allow him to remain at home leading up to his final days. We are also very fortunate to have had the finances to allow this to be possible. However, not everyone has this opportunity and that’s where the Alzheimer’s Society step in to support individuals and families with dementia who may not have the family to support them or the financial backing to assist with their care.
Charles passed away on 24th June 2021 of Vascular Dementia. I am honoured to run the half marathon in his memory and raise money for such an amazing charity.
After my grandad, Harry Lister, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, we knew he was very lucky to have my grandma, Irene, looking after him full time as well as a close family who loved him so much.
Harry and Irene had been married nearly 60 years and were together the whole way through. The bravery and strength she showed was truly remarkable as Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease taking the person you love away from you slowly before your eyes, presenting both physical and emotional challenges to both the patient and their loved ones.
Despite the horrible disease, my grandad and I had amazing times together after his diagnosis as he loved music and socialising so we took him to many events where he remembered the music and it made him very happy as well as building beautiful memories I will never forget. He was the biggest gentleman I have ever met. We were incredibly close and I was so lucky to have him as my grandad for as long as I did, as well as being able to spend so much time with him.
However, I know that my experience is not the case for everyone and there are other people and families out there who do not have the support network my grandad had.
Charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society are vitally important and therefore it’s an honour to run for this charity in his memory. It means even more after losing him earlier this year.
The work they do is truly incredible in improving lives of those living with the terrible disease as well as vital research to prevent and cure the disease.
The Leeds Half Marathon
The Leeds Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 5th September.
Both Lucy and Annabel admit they are not natural athletes, but they are determined to raise as much money as they can for the Alzheimer’s Society. Will you help them reach their £1,000 target?
You can support Lucy and Annabel by donating to their Just Giving pages here:
Good luck Lucy & Annabel!