Our champions

We’ve made some of our supporters Champions, in recognition of their outstanding efforts to help us beat dementia.

Our supporters are one of our greatest strengths. Thousands of people across the country are helping us in so many ways by raising money and awareness, giving up their time to volunteer and sharing their personal stories with the media.

Our champions

Cath Baxter

Cath, a mother-of-two from Fife, was made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK after raising over £40,000 for the charity.

She was inspired to support Alzheimer’s Research UK after seeing her mum, Liz Brown, diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in 2012. She sadly passed away in January 2017 from complications arising from her FTD.

Cath continues to fundraise for Alzheimer’s Research UK and raise much-needed awareness of dementia.

Steve Berry

Steve Berry

Steve’s late mum Janet was only in her 50s when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Steve was shocked to learn that little could be done to help her and appalled at the lack of funding for research. Since then Steve has been on a mission to do everything he can to help our work at Alzheimer’s Research UK. He’s taken part in numerous media interviews to raise awareness and written a book of celebrity Doctor Who memories to raise vital funds for our world-class research.

Alison Blaikie

Alison Blaikie

Alison’s dad William died in 2012 after an eight year battle with Alzheimer’s. Since then she has arranged a number of 26K treks through the Scottish Highlands in his memory. As a result she has raised thousands of pounds towards our research to defeat this devastating disease. Alison has also shared her story with the media in order to increase public understanding of dementia and raise awareness of our work.

Pat Boyes

Pat Boyes

Pat’s late husband, Roland, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s when he was 58. Together they campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness and money for dementia research. Pat continues to give her enduring support to Alzheimer’s Research UK by sharing her experience of caring for Roland.

Our champions

Matthew Burke

Matthew moved from his Newcastle roots to live in London after completing a PhD in 2012, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK. A huge supporter of our work, he took on a mammoth 100km bike ride and completed a Target Twelve Hundred challenge before setting-up the Alzheimer’s Research UK London Regional Group in 2013. This regional group has gone from strength to strength bringing people together and raising money and awareness. Some of the more energetic members have joined Matthew on other exhausting cycle exploits, including a 100km circular night ride through our capital city.

Our champions

Alison Carter and Leslie Fenn

Alison and her mum Leslie know only too well how dementia can impact on families – Leslie’s husband John was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2007, aged 72. Leslie looked after him at home with the help of carers and her daughter Alison. John sadly passed away in 2016. Both mum and daughter are determined to raise awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s crucial work to defeat it and have shared their story with the media many times, including national radio and TV broadcasts.

Our champions

Chris and Terrie Drummond

Chris first realised something was wrong when his mum Dot couldn’t remember how to make her special cauliflower cheese or remember how to answer the phone. The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease came just a year before she passed away in 2006, aged 84. Since then Chris and his wife Terrie have done everything they can to boost funds to help Alzheimer’s Research UK defeat this disease. They’ve raised thousands of pounds by running marathons and taking part in numerous fundraising activities. This dynamic duo have even dressed as Batman and Robin to lead our Defeat Dementia Walk in Cambridgeshire and shared their experience with the media.

Chris Elsley

Chris Elsley

Chris came on board as a fundraiser in 2012 as result of our Big Walk in Cambridgeshire. Her experience of dementia has come about as a result of her work in the care industry. This has also led her into starting up her own business training professionals and families to care for people with dementia. Chris spreads the word about our research to defeat dementia at every opportunity at events, public speaking engagements and through the media.

Harry Everett

Harry Everett

Harry has put Alzheimer’s Research UK on the map in Cornwall since he founded the Newquay Regional Group in 2006. Harry started the group after his wife Mavis was diagnosed with vascular dementia. Since then he has built up a team of volunteers and supporters and together they have raised awareness and thousands of pounds for our pioneering dementia research.

Paula Frances Muldoon

Paula Frances Muldoon

Paula came on board as a fundraiser in 2012. Her dad Michael died with frontotemporal dementia the same year, aged just 64. A fitness instructor and former actress in the soap opera Brookside, Paula organised a 30 mile bike ride during her first year to boost funds for the charity. Leading on from the success of that event, she arranged a 60 mile bike ride the following year and a seven-hour exercise marathon in 2014. Through these energetic activities she has raised thousands of pounds for our vital work and increased public understanding of dementia by sharing her story with the media.

Patrick and Carol Franklin-Adams

Patrick and Carol Franklin-Adams

Patrick was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2004 at the age of 59 and his love of golf keeps him active. Patrick and his wife Carol are committed supporters of our work at Alzheimer’s Research UK and have raised over £100,000 since 2008 through various fundraising activities. These have included a golf tournament, a 100 mile walk along the South Downs Way and a 300 mile bike ride by Carol to celebrate her 70th birthday in 2014.

Our champions

Amanda Franks

Amanda’s mum Cathy has been living with early-onset Alzheimer’s for seven years and was only 58 when she received the diagnosis. Since then, Amanda has gone to great lengths to raise money and awareness to help Alzheimer’s Research UK find the treatments so urgently needed. Her efforts have included staging a live concert for over 1,300 people – The Gig to Remember – raising over £14,000 for world-class research. A committed supporter, Amanda has also shared her story with the media on many occasions to raise awareness and help lift the stigma around Alzheimer’s disease.

Deborah Gatesman

Deborah Gatesman

Deborah’s late dad, James, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was 74. He lived with the disease for 12 years. They’d known something was wrong for some time – he mixed-up his words, struggled with numbers and started to lose the concept of time. But it took two years to get a diagnosis. Determined to do something positive to help, Deborah has raised thousands of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research UK and raised awareness by speaking out about the impact the disease has on her dad and the whole family.

Our champions

Helen German

Energetic Helen has hardly stood still since she started supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2014. Her numerous fundraising activities have included a triathlon and a 90 day static cycle challenge, cycling 90k kilometres a day to celebrate her nan’s 90th birthday. Helen would dearly love to see new treatments found for Alzheimer’s, to help people like her nan who has been living with the disease for a number of years. In addition to raising thousands of pounds for the charity, Helen has also jumped at the opportunity to share her fundraising experiences and the impact of her nan’s illness to help raise awareness.

Margaret Gibson

Margaret Gibson

Margaret is Treasurer of the Alzheimer’s Research UK County Durham Group, Brighter Skies. This regional group is made up of seven friends who all got to know one another as a result of relatives and friends being affected by dementia. They decided to do something positive by setting up Brighter Skies in 2010 to fundraise for the charity. Since then they have raised a tremendous £37,000. All the friends work hard to organise regular dances, race nights, weekly bingo sessions and much more. Margaret has been made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK on behalf of the group, in recognition of the hard work and commitment of all the members.

Simon Gibson

Simon Gibson

Simon became a fundraiser for the charity in 2011 after his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Since then he has been determined to increase public understanding of the disease and has raised over £20,000 towards our research. He has achieved this with the help of his business connections and the launch of his debut book A Joke a Day. In 2013 he arranged for Alzheimer’s Research UK to host the first of three annual race days at the Newmarket Racecourse, bringing fresh opportunities and connections for the charity.

Rosemary Goddard

Rosemary Goddard

Rosemary’s husband Tony was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2007, aged just 63. She looked after him at home for the first five years but since then he’s needed 24-hour care in a nursing home. Rosemary has involved her family, friends and local community in fundraising activities to boost funds for our crucial research to find new treatments. She’s also shared her story with the media on numerous occasions to raise awareness and lift the stigma around the subject of dementia.

Our champions

Chris Graham

Father-of-three Chris Graham has been made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK, after undertaking a staggering 16,000-mile cycle ride around the coast of Canada and America following a life-changing diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. This accolade recognises Chris’ exceptional support as a dedicated fundraiser and spokesperson for the charity having raised more than £40,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, a cause very close to his heart.

Vicki Graham

Vicki Graham

Vicki lost her husband Jamie to early-onset Alzheimer’s in January 2015, after a ten year battle with the disease. Jamie was only 59 when he received the diagnosis and had to give up his high-powered job in IT along with many other things – he couldn’t drive, use a computer, read or write. He had difficulty stringing words together and needed help with an increasing number of day-to-day tasks. With Vicki’s encouragement, Jamie rowed 22 miles from Eton to Henley in 2010 and 2011 with a veteran crew of oarsmen. Vicki also successfully nominated Alzheimer’s Research UK as the chosen charity for the prestigious 2013 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials. Together the couple raised over £200,000 for the charity and Vicki is determined to continue her mission to support our pioneering research and give hope to other people.

Susie Hewer

Susie Hewer

Otherwise known as ‘the Extreme Knitting Redhead’, Susie has raised over £30,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK since her mum, Peggy, died with dementia in 2005. As a result, she has over 40 marathons to her credit and a Guinness World Record for knitting the longest scarf and crochet chain whilst running a marathon! She is a determined campaigner for the charity and has taken part in countless newspaper, radio and TV interviews.

Viv Hill

Vivienne Hill

Vivienne lost her mum, Mary, to Alzheimer’s in 2010. Since her mum’s diagnosis Vivienne has been an unwavering campaigner for more investment into dementia research. She has also taken up running and raised thousands of pounds for our world-class research. After cajoling friends and family to join her in the Adidas Women’s 5K Challenge she took things a step further in 2014 and completed her first Virgin London Marathon.

Sophie Howarth

Sophie Howarth

Sophie put her career on hold to care for her gran, Violet, who had vascular dementia and sadly passed away in 2017. Without any training she looked after her for a year-and-a-half until she needed specialist care in a nursing home.
Since then, Sophie has shown enduring support to Alzheimer’s Research UK by sharing her story with the media to raise awareness of our vital work and increase public understanding of dementia. She also featured in our 2014 BBC Lifeline Appeal, which raised thousands of pounds for the charity.

Sarah King

Sarah King

Sarah’s husband Andrew was only 43 when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2006. It explained the gradual change in his behaviour and the reason he’d started to struggle with his job. He now needs full time care, he can’t talk or walk and is fed by a tube. A committed supporter of Alzheimer’s Research UK, Sarah does everything she can to raise money for vital dementia research and shares her story with the media to raise awareness.

Mick Moody

Mick Moody

Mick’s wife Elaine was only 52 when she was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, she died in March 2013, aged just 59. After her diagnosis, Elaine needed help with more and more day to day things but found that running was one thing she could manage on her own. In 2008 she became the first woman with Alzheimer’s to complete the London Marathon. Within a couple of years Elaine struggled to walk without support and needed 24-hour attention. Mick was devastated when she needed to go into a special nursing home during the last months of her life. Mick and his family continue with their committed support of our crucial research.

Carolyn Morris

Carolyn Morris

Carolyn’s mum Mary lived with Alzheimer’s disease for over 12 years and died in 2012, aged 92. Carolyn has spoken out extensively about that experience to raise the profile of dementia research and our work at Alzheimer’s Research UK. Mary donated her brain to dementia research through the Brains for Dementia Research scheme. Carolyn intends to do the same.

Valerie Muncer

Valerie Muncer

Valerie’s mother Nellie had a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and died in 2007, aged 95. Since then Valerie has used every spare moment and boundless energy to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research UK. She has involved family, friends and her local community in numerous events and raised thousands of pounds through dances, raffles, cake sales and charity collections.

Our champions

Lee Pearse

Filmmaker and charity worker Lee Pearse has produced a number of films about frontotemporal dementia and has set-up The Valerie Foundation for creativity and dementia support. His late mother Valerie was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia when she was just 59. She passed away in 2015 after an eight year struggle with the condition. Lee and his family looked after her for the first few years but eventually she needed round the clock care in a specialist home. Lee supports our work at Alzheimer’s Research UK in so many ways by raising money and awareness about our world-class research and has taken part in numerous newspaper, radio and TV interviews.

Alice Potter

Alice Potter

Alice’s late husband Arthur was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 49. A committed supporter of Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alice continues to campaign for more investment in dementia research by sharing her story of caring for Arthur. She has also raised thousands of pounds through various fundraising challenges, including climbing Ben Nevis and cycling from London to Paris.

Our champions

Dione Priddy

Dione’s husband Mark was just 36 when he was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Dione decided to do something positive by running the 2010 Virgin London Marathon to raise money for dementia research and give hope to future generations. Sadly, Mark passed away just two weeks before the run but Dione was determined to go ahead and raised £18,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK. She continues to be a committed supporter of our work, raising money and awareness in memory of Mark.

David Read

David Read

David lost his mother, Janet, to Alzheimer’s in 2008. Since then he’s put his feelings about her long struggle into song. He recorded an album I Know that I should know you in 2009 and followed that with live concerts featuring his music and that of other artists as well as a charity ball. David has raised thousands of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research UK and aims to raise enough to fund a complete dementia research project.

Rupert Stroud

Rupert Stroud

Singer-songwriter Rupert Stroud lost his much loved grandma Eileen to Alzheimer’s in 2009. Heartbroken by her death, he put his feelings into words and released a charity single entitled Always as a tribute to her, with all the proceeds from downloads being donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK. Rupert has an ongoing programme of music concerts in different parts of the country to raise even more money for the charity. He has taken part in countless media interviews, has spoken movingly at our public events, and is keen to get more young people involved to raise awareness of dementia.

Marianne Tablot

Marianne Talbot

Oxford philosopher and writer Marianne Talbot lost both her parents to dementia. After her father died with vascular dementia, her mum Lesley was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Marianne brought Lesley to live with her and looked after Lesley for five years before making the hard decision to put her into care. She published a book entitled Keeping Mum: Caring for Someone with Dementia, which chronicles their experience together, and a percentage of the proceeds are donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK. An accomplished public speaker, Marianne has spoken on many occasions at events and through the media to raise awareness of the need for more funding for research. Read her story on our blog.

Fred Walker

Fred Walker

Fred’s wife, Joan, had a four year struggle with Alzheimer’s and died in 2010, aged 70. Since then he has been a tireless campaigner, raising awareness of the need for more investment into research for this devastating disease. Fred has involved his local community in fundraising events and has raised thousands of pounds for our world-class dementia research. A retired engineer, he has also written a book entitled ‘Alzheimer’s: An Engineer’s View’, with all proceeds being donated to Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Our champions

Philip Grant

Philip’s wife Liza was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2011, aged just 53, which explained the gradual change in her behaviour. Liza lived in a care home where she was visited by Philip and their twin sons regularly but sadly passed away in 2016. Following Liza’s diagnosis, Philip wanted to do all he could to raise awareness of dementia and the need for vital funds to boost dementia research. As a supporter Philip has shared his story with the media on a number of occasions in an effort to aid understanding of the condition and the impact it has on families like his.

Our champions

David Barnett

David is acutely aware of the need to invest in dementia research to give hope to the 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK. He is a committed supporter of the charity and an Ambassador for the Insight 46 Giving Club, which aims to raise £2million for research with the support of a group of leading donors. David has played a major part in securing more than £500,000 so far for Insight 46 through his own donations and those of others he has helped inspire. This money is funding a major study that aims to gain important insights into early changes in the brain in diseases like Alzheimer’s compared to normal ageing.

Liz, Chrissi and Ciana Ayre

Liz, Chrissi and Ciana Ayre

Liz and her two daughters Chrissi and Ciana have become prominent spokespeople for Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of Liz’s husband and Chrissi and Ciana’s father, Mike Ayre.

Liz has contributed to numerous high profile topics surrounding dementia research and the need for more awareness of the condition while her daughters have been proactive in sharing their story of growing up with dementia. They continue to share their experience in order to help others and increase public understanding of dementia and the need for dementia research.

Our champions

Harry Gardner

Harry penned a moving single called Not Alone – Song for Alzheimer’s at the age of just 15 after seeing how dementia had affected his Nan. The song made it to number one in the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart and has raised more than £8,000 for dementia research.

He continues to raise the profile of dementia and the need for research to combat the condition and performs his song to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Our champions

Shaheen Larrieux

Shaheen has been made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK for tirelessly promoting dementia research and awareness of the condition. She has spent more than a decade caring for her mum Hosna, who lives with behavioural variant Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD) and is keen to raise awareness of the challenges that bvFTD presents both for those who have it and their families.

Shaheen has raised the profile of the work Alzheimer’s Research UK does and the need for dementia research in media interviews and at events including the charity’s Women and Dementia event at the House of Lords and the Women of the World Festival in London.

Our champions

James ‘Jimmy’ Hamilton

Jimmy’s support for Alzheimer’s Research UK first started in 2014 when approached for a donation from his Charitable Trust. It was then that he chose to support the charity with personal donations, as his wife Patricia is living with dementia. Jimmy is a retired chartered engineer based in Glasgow, specialising in dredging within the ship building industry.

To date, Jimmy has pledged to contribute the largest individual donation to the Charity – £1 million towards our Defeat Dementia campaign. His substantial support and efforts to raise awareness for the charity are outstanding.

Our champions

Valerie Blumenthal

Valerie is an acclaimed novelist who is living with a rare form of dementia called Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA). She has shared her experience with the national media in both features and radio interviews and has also spoken about living with dementia as a guest speaker at Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Women and Dementia conference at the House of Lords and the Women of the World Festival, following her diagnosis in 2014. She is keen to raise awareness of the dementia and Alzheimer’s research UK in order to help others living with the condition.