Cambridgeshire woman’s marathon birthday challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Kelly Hall, from Histon, Cambridgeshire, will mark her 40th birthday on Sunday 13 April by running the Virgin Money London Marathon to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Posted on 18th March 2014

Kelly Hall, from Histon, Cambridgeshire, will mark her 40th birthday on Sunday 13 April by running the Virgin Money London Marathon to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Kelly, who admitted she had not run since her school days, said it was “written in the stars” when the race date landed on her landmark birthday. She signed up for the marathon just eight weeks after her dad, Peter Radford, died with Alzheimer’s disease, aged 70. Kelly hopes to raise £2,620 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity – £100 for every mile run – in his memory.

Kelly, a senior manager of assessment standards at the OCR exam board in Cambridge, explained her reasons for running the iconic marathon in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK:

“I lost my dad to Alzheimer’s last year and it’s always been a life-long ambition to run the London Marathon. When the race date was released, landing on my birthday, I knew it was written in the stars. I haven’t run since I was at school so most people think I’m mad, but I’m really looking forward to taking on the challenge.

“Before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, my dad was a very clever man and worked as a computer programmer. He worked away a lot but he would always support me and my brother in whatever we chose to do. Losing my dad started before his death last year. Alzheimer’s disease stole him from us bit by bit after the initial diagnosis seven years ago, aged just 63. It’s heartbreaking watching someone you love experience confusion, torment and memory loss and it was devastating the day I realised he didn’t know who I was.

“The only way scientists are going to find a cure is by investing in research. I don’t want others going through what my family had to. My dad’s battle with the disease opened my eyes to the drastic lack of funding for research and that’s why I’m doing my bit in his memory.”

She added:

“I’m currently running four or five times a week. It’s a balancing act trying to run as much as possible without risking injury. I’m not measuring distances; it’s all about time on my feet. I do shorter runs in the week and go for longer runs on Sundays. I’m not going to do some fantastic time but it’s not about that – it’s all about finishing. As long as it’s still my birthday when I finish I’ll be happy!”

Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Kelly for taking on this marathon challenge to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK and we wish her every success on the day. Last year our fantastic Virgin Money London Marathon runners raised an incredible £113,500, enough to fund almost four complete pilot projects. Every £20 Kelly raises is enough to pay for another hour of pioneering research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people across the UK living with dementia today, including over 6,000 people in Cambridgeshire. Dementia poses one of the greatest threats to public health now and in the future. Research is the only answer but funding still lags far behind other serious diseases. We rely on wonderful supporters like Kelly to fund our world-class research.”

To help Kelly raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s groundbreaking dementia research, donate online at www.justgiving.com/Kelly-Hall7. For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

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