Judi: I have always dreamt of running the Virgin Money London Marathon since its conception, so when my husband Roger was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in May 2016, I was more determined than ever to try to gain a place. This coupled with the fact that I turn 70 less than two weeks before the big day means the Dementia Revolution is incredibly important to me and I’m very excited to be taking part.
Abbi: I did my first marathon in Milton Keynes in 2016 and said never again! However, mum spotted the Dementia Revolution and wanted to sign up so how could I say no to running this marathon with my mum, to support such a great campaign? We have started this journey together and will finish it on marathon day as we cross the finish line holding hands.
The funds we raise for dementia research will help prevent people like my dear dad – and my mum who sees his decline on a daily basis – from having to go through this in the future.
Judi: Alzheimer's is a cruel disease with no known cure and it's heartbreaking to watch the man I married in 1972 deteriorate into the person he is today. His short-term memory has completely gone. He has no interest in reading, the Guardian crossword, cooking or gardening - the things he loved the most.
He struggles when the family get together, as he forgets names, has difficulty in joining in and finds it hard to cope with noisy grandchildren.
I am Roger's full-time carer which is extremely challenging and with little reward. I've had to give up my teaching career completely and am now unable to visit our grandchildren for any length of time, as Roger cannot be left overnight.
Abbi: Before dad was diagnosed I had limited knowledge of what Alzheimer’s really was. My grandad had the disease, but I didn’t really understand it. I was a teenager at the time and all I knew was that grandpa wasn’t very well and I thought it was just a part of getting old and therefore inevitable.
However, my views have changed now as there is much more awareness around dementia. It is not just about memory, it is about behaviours as well and how a person can change. It can impact their personality. It is difficult seeing someone like your dad change because of dementia that is why the Dementia Revolution is so important.
I’m really excited that Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society have joined forces as this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon Charity of the Year. It is a great platform for raising vital funds and awareness for dementia research.
Judi: We can’t wait to get to the start line and wear our Dementia Revolution vests with pride. We are delighted with the sponsorship we have received to date but know we can do more before race day.
Please find it in your hearts to donate to the Dementia Revolution so we can find a solution to eradicate this dreadful condition. It is heartbreaking for all our family to watch a once proud, polite and creative gentleman being slowly taken from us.
If you would like to sponsor us please visit our fundraising page.