Running marathons has always been part of my life and representing my country at the Olympic marathons in Tokyo (1964) and Munich (1972) were two of the proudest days of my life.
I love running and I didn’t miss a day of it, running at least a mile a day for 52 years until the start of last year, when health problems brought my running streak to an end.
It’s got to the point where my short-term memories quickly vanish and I have to ask my wife what day of the week it is when I wake up in the morning. I went to the doctor, I had to read an address and then when I was asked to repeat it I had no idea - it all just went away. That’s when the penny dropped.
I can’t be ashamed of it because I haven’t done anything to deserve it. No one does. It’s there and I can’t rub it better or run it off like a minor niggle - or get better with rest or physiotherapy like I would with a running injury.
I don’t get too fussed about it. And I don’t want people feeling sorry for me because I won’t let it get me down.
"It’s just so sad because Ron’s as fit as a fiddle and he’s the last person you would expect to develop dementia. It just shows that dementia doesn’t care who you are."
- Ron’s wife, May
I’m lucky that I’ve got a lovely family and great friends and fortunately I can still vividly re-call the days when I was in my running pomp and those memories always bring a smile to my face.
Dementia is the biggest challenge of my life but it isn’t the end of the road by any stretch of the imagination. I’ll use this to spur me on to get back running, continue meeting people and inspire in a different way.
I’m keen to be part of the Dementia Revolution so I can make a real difference in the fight against dementia.
I want to support the charities who are doing their best to make the world a lot happier and a better place for people affected by dementia.
The Virgin Money London Marathon will be really important because it will get people talking about dementia and the money raised will be vital.
This is a brilliant chance for people who are lucky enough to win a place in next year’s marathon to show their support for dementia research.
At the moment, dementia can’t be stopped in its tracks but hopefully we can start to change this on the back of the marathon.
Inspired by Ron?
Triumph against dementia this April by signing up to run the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon for the Dementia Revolution.