A Cheshire fundraiser with a rare form of Alzheimer’s that causes visual problems will run a half marathon on Sunday 18 January to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. Paul Bulmer, 56, from Helsby, will tackle the Four Villages Half Marathon – a 13.1-mile road race which passes through the Cheshire villages of Dunham on the Hill, Mouldsworth, Manley and Helsby. The former IT consultant was diagnosed with Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) in 2012 – a rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease which typically starts with visual difficulties. Due to issues judging distance and depth, Paul will be accompanied on the day by guide runners.
PCA affects around 64,000 people in the UK. It is a progressive, neurological disease which affects skills such as reading, driving and seeing what and where things are. Other symptoms include difficulties with literacy and numeracy and the inability to cope with changes in light. Thinking skills and speech may also be affected. Paul’s diagnosis is also shared by Alzheimer’s Research UK patron Sir Terry Pratchett.
The married father-of-two explained his reasons for running the Four Villages Half Marathon in support of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity:
“Although I’ve had to give up my job, stop driving and need help with many day-to-day things, I like to concentrate on what I can do rather than what I can’t. I have always been a runner, purely for pleasure. Now I run with guide runners because of my visual processing difficulties. It’s a challenge these days, but I want to run for as long as I am able. My diagnosis has closed many doors for me but I’ve been pleased to find it’s opened others. My local running club has taken me to heart and I’ve made new friends as a result.
“The only answer to dementia is research and I plan to do everything I can to help Alzheimer’s Research UK find the preventions and treatments so urgently needed.”
Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We couldn’t be more grateful to Paul for taking on the Four Villages Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK and we wish him every success on the day. He’s a true inspiration to many and is proof that a dementia diagnosis doesn’t have to stop you leading a rewarding and fulfilling life. Every £20 Paul 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 over 830,000 people across the UK living with dementia today, including over 10,000 people in Cheshire. Despite this, dementia research is desperately underfunded compared to other serious diseases. We rely on public donations to fund our world-class research and it’s thanks to the commitment of people like Paul that we’re able to continue our crucial work.”
To sponsor Paul and help him raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s vital research, visit his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/paul-bulmer2 or text ARUK71 and amount (example ARUK71 £10) to 70070. 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
Posted in Fundraising news