Hovis ad producer, 38, running marathon to raise dough for dementia research

Freelance TV producer Lorraine Geoghegan, who helped create an iconic Hovis advert, is raising dough for Alzheimer’s Research UK by running the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Posted on 1st April 2014

A freelance TV producer who helped create an iconic Hovis advert is raising dough for Alzheimer’s Research UK by running the Virgin Money London Marathon. During the race across the English capital on Sunday 13 April, Lorraine Geoghegan, 38, from Dublin, will be spurred on by thoughts of her 69-year-old dad, Joe. The former mechanic, who lives with his wife Martha in Slane, County Meath, began experiencing memory loss and personality changes shortly after retirement three years ago. By completing the iconic 26.2-mile run, Lorraine hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Lorraine, who lived in Queens Park, London, before moving back to her native Ireland two years ago, worked with advertising agencies in London for about 12 years. Her best-known work is the 2008 ‘Go On Lad’ Hovis advert, which was named ITV’s ad of the decade in 2010. The commercial follows the journey of a young boy through 122 years of British history, from the establishment of the Hovis brand in the 1890s to the modern day.

Lorraine said:

“I think research into causes, diagnosis and a possible cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is vital. I was shocked to discover how relatively little is known about dementia, and how underfunded research is into the condition. I’d really like to help raise money for much-needed research and use this opportunity to raise awareness.

“My father had been experiencing memory problems and changes to his personality following his retirement, so I moved back home to support him. Some medication has been helping him with his symptoms, but we still don’t have a clear diagnosis for him. Now we are waiting for more test results.”

Lorraine added:

“Despite not getting a confirmed place in the marathon until November, training started really well and I thought, ‘I can do this!’ But then I got a virus over Christmas which caused fluid to form on my lungs and around mid-January I ran on a sore ankle which put me out of action for another week-and-a-half. But I survived the Carlingford Half Marathon on 1 March, which I completed in 2hrs 5mins, so now it’s about building up the mileage ahead of the big day. I can’t wait until the race now and I smile every time I think about it! Each mile I run will be dedicated to someone I know, which will really push me on when the going gets tough.”

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

“We couldn’t be more grateful to Lorraine 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 Lorraine 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 nearly 42,000 people in Ireland and 64,000 people in Greater London. 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 Lorraine to fund our world-class research.”

To help Lorraine raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s groundbreaking dementia research, donate online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonmarathonforalzheimersresearch. 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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