Herts supermarket manager’s marathon challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Supermarket manager Kevin Zokay-West, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, is running this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Posted on 21st March 2014

A supermarket manager from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, will run next month’s Virgin Money London Marathon to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Kevin Zokay-West signed up for the iconic 26.2-mile race across the capital just months after his mother, Winnie, lost a three-year battle with vascular dementia, aged 72. The 50 year old, manager of a north London branch of Iceland, hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity in her memory.

Kevin is no stranger to raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. In 2012 he raised over £1,000 by cycling a gruelling 150 miles around the M25. He is also a member of the Alzheimer’s Research UK London Supporters’ Group, which helps out at events and arranges fundraising events of its own to raise awareness and money for the charity.

Kevin has also supported the charity’s work through his job with Iceland Foods. The frozen food giant’s Charitable Foundation has raised over £3 million for vital research into Alzheimer’s disease since 2011. Staff helped boost the impressive total by holding fundraising events in stores across the UK during its annual charity week.

Kevin explained his reasons for running the marathon, on Sunday 13 April, in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK:

“Last year I was part of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s cheer squad with my six-year-old son, George, in Narrow Street cheering on all the runners. The marathon is something I’ve always wanted to do and when the London race first started, I applied the first couple of years but I never got in, so I gave up. I was delighted when I was chosen to run for Alzheimer’s Research UK this year and I’ll be doing it for Mum, so it’s going to be a very special day.

“My mum was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2011. We knew something was wrong, but it was still a massive shock when we were told she had dementia. She used to love cooking and she used to make the most amazing cakes. We realised something wasn’t quite right when she lost interest in baking. After her diagnosis she went downhill very quickly and she was admitted to hospital three weeks before she died. My mum’s battle with dementia opened my eyes to the drastic lack of funding for research to find new treatments and that’s why I began supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

Kevin added:

“I injured my knee shortly after running the Silverstone Half Marathon on 2 March which put me out of action for a fortnight, but I’m confident I still have time to get race-fit. The weekend before this year’s marathon would have been Mum’s 75th birthday and she will be in my thoughts on the day, as she has been every day since her passing, which will really spur me on. I’m sure there will be a tear or two when I cross the finishing line.”

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

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Kevin 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 Kevin raises will 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 11,000 people in Hertfordshire – one of the highest county figures. 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 Kevin to fund our world-class research.”

To help Kevin raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s groundbreaking research, donate online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/kevinzw. For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, the Alzheimer’s Research UK London Supporters’ Group or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org

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