Former GB rower to run London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Former junior GB rower Fergus Graham, from Whitchurch, Hampshire, is running this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Posted on 18th March 2014

A former junior GB rower from Whitchurch, Hampshire, will run this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Fergus Graham, 40, signed up for the 26.2-mile race across the capital in support of his uncle, Jamie, from Dauntsey in Wiltshire, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease at just 59 (see link to video in notes to editors). He hopes to raise at least £5,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Fergus, a sales director for money-printing giant De La Rue, is no stranger to raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. In 2010 and 2011 he joined his uncle Jamie, now 65, and a crew of veteran oarsmen for a 25-mile row between Henley and Eton. The Forget Me Not rows raised over £180,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Fergus, who won a silver medal at under-18 level at the World Junior Rowing Championships, hopes to complete the iconic marathon in three-and-a-half hours. He said:

“For my one and only marathon I wanted to raise money for a charity that is very personal to me. My uncle Jamie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s aged 58. He is now 65 and his condition continues to deteriorate. He is unable to look after himself or hold a conversation, which is really hard on him and the rest of the family. But he’s physically fit and he has a positive mentality. Jamie was the life and soul of the party. He would have everyone laughing and would entertain us all with his musical talents.

“Uncle Jamie was a real inspiration to me growing up as he always had a story to tell and was great fun to be around. He was such a personality but now you just can’t bring that out of him. He is a great man and he and my father were great buddies. I lost my dad many years ago and he became even more important to me and my brother. I’ll be thinking of him on the day, especially towards the end of the race as I don’t want to let him down. Jamie used to row too, so we’ve always shared that interest. In rowing you need a never-give-up attitude, so I’ll be taking that mind-set into the race.”

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

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Fergus for taking on this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK and we wish him every success on the day. Last year our fantastic London Marathon runners raised an incredible £113,500, enough to fund almost four complete pilot projects. Every £20 Fergus raises is enough to pay for an 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 15,500 people in Hampshire. 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 Fergus to fund our world-class research.”

To help Fergus raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s groundbreaking dementia research, donate online at www.bmycharity.com/ferguslondonmarathon2014. For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

Posted in Archive