Joe Harper, 23, will swap his football boots for running shoes on 31 October, to raise hundreds of pounds for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Joe, who plays football for Perranporth AFC and St George’s, will take part in the National Lottery Dublin Marathon and his younger brother Arron will run with him.
This is the 31st year of the National Lottery Dublin Marathon and Joe and Arron will be among over 11,000 participants. The mainly flat course runs through the historic Georgian streets of Ireland’s capital city.
Joe, who lives in Perranporth and is self-employed, talked about the challenge and his motivation for raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK:
“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and I’m really excited about joining the huge crowd in Dublin. It’s a great chance to do something positive and raise much needed money for research into dementia. So many people are struggling with this devastating condition and it puts a huge strain on their families.
“Since I signed up for the Dublin Marathon, I’ve been reading up about dementia. I was appalled to learn there’s a dreadful lack of funding to find new treatments. That inspired me to raise money for the experts – Alzheimer’s Research UK. The charity doesn’t receive any government funding, so I know that every penny I raise will make a difference.
“I only took up running this year but, despite a broken arm, managed to complete the Bristol Half Marathon as a warm up for Dublin. Since then I’ve been running along the fabulous three mile Perranporth beach, encouraged by my Collie dog, Benji. I hope to raise lots of money and awareness to help defeat dementia. It’s young people like me who’ll reap the benefits of today’s pioneering research, I want to do my bit to help.”
Miranda Mays, Community Fundraising Manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We really appreciate Joe’s brilliant support by running the Dublin Marathon and wish him and his brother success. Every £20 Joe raises will pay for another hour of vital research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure dementia.
“There are nearly 8,000 people in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles living with dementia today but funding for research lags far behind other serious diseases. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future. Research is the only answer but we rely entirely on our wonderful supporters like Joe.”
To help Joe raise funds for crucial dementia research, call the fundraising team at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 01223 843899 or donate online at http://www.justgiving.com/joeharper