Sue’s story

I wasn’t a runner before, I had been a hockey player for many years. I was a goalkeeper and was only ever seen running to the bar after a match! 

But when I was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2014, the doctor said that getting fit would be a good way to help manage my symptoms and stay positive.

A photograph of a lady wearing a purple hat
Sue Strachan was diagnosed with vascular dementia in her late fifties.


I have trouble with my short-term memory and concentration, but my symptoms are not always obvious when people meet me. Although the progression of my dementia has been very gradual to date, there is the possibility that I might wake up tomorrow morning and not recognise anybody because of the nature of vascular dementia.

There’s no cure for dementia, it’s not like a broken leg, it’s not going to heal. It’s been good to have something to focus on and a long-term goal. When I have time on my hands that’s when I can think too much about the future and get depressed.

I did the NHS Couch to 5k programme at first. I started off walking for a minute, running for a minute and built it up to 30 minutes of running. 

My ambition was to run a half marathon before I was 60 and I did that in October 2015. When I completed it, I said I was never going to do something like that again, but I decided to apply for a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon.

I am very proud that although I’ve got dementia I’m still able to take on the challenge of a marathon. I hope I can inspire people to support dementia research and get involved in the Dementia Revolution for this special year.

"I support research into dementia because it’s the only way that we can really change the outlook for people with dementia like me. I want to be part of giving hope that something positive can result, so that future generations won’t have to face what people like me and their families face now."
- Sue

Sue running in the countryside
Sue runs in the country lanes around her house

Inspired by Sue?


Join Sue in making a stand against dementia and sign up to run the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon for the Dementia Revolution. 

A man in a branded t-shirt running in the park