A Hereford dad has run 10km every day for ten consecutive days to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK after seeing his dad living with the disease.
Ian Beddis from Ross-on-Wye finished the challenge on Saturday 17 September, having started on 8 September – his dad’s birthday. It is part of a wider initiative called Running Down Dementia, launched by Alzheimer’s Research UK and parkrun, which challenges participants to run 100km over the summer.
Ian, who works as a safety manager for a recycling plant, wanted to do something a bit different so elected to do the whole 100km over 10 days.
“I knew it would be difficult but it was a lot tougher than I thought. It was worth the blisters though to increase awareness of dementia and raise money for research into the condition.”
Ian’s dad, Austin Beddis, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010. He had worked as an engineer and was a very intelligent and methodical man, but it soon became clear that he was having memory problems. His wife Myrtle cared for him for the first few years but was hospitalised with breast cancer in 2013. It was then that the family realised how reliant Austin was on his wife, so they made the decision to put him into respite care.
Myrtle thankfully pulled through, but it became clear that the strain of caring for Austin was making her ill, so it was decided that he should stay at the care home. Now 83, his symptoms have progressed significantly. He is bed-bound, can no longer talk and does not recognise his family any more. Myrtle sadly passed away last year.
Ian, 39, said:
“My dad hasn’t recognised me for two years. He gets very confused and often looks so scared – it’s heart-breaking to see. He helped make me who I am. Now I’m a dad myself, I can see everything he did for me, but I can’t say thanks.”
Ian, who is married with two young sons – Callum, six, and Finley, three – filmed videos as he ran each day. He speaks about his dad in the films in the hope of raising awareness of the realities of dementia.
“Since I started the challenge, lots of people have got in touch to tell me their experiences of dementia – even people I haven’t seen in years. It’s become apparent how many people have been touched by dementia. It’s a scary condition and people often don’t talk about it because of that fear, but it’s important we do.
“I’m terrified that I or someone else I love will get it. But with research, we can stop future generations from having to go through this. I wanted to raise £100 for Alzheimer’s Research UK but had doubled that before I’d even started the challenge! I’ve been blown away by the support I’ve received – I can’t say thank you enough.”
Ian has raised over £650 so far for the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Alzheimer’s Research UK powers research into prevention, diagnosis and treatments for dementia. There is currently no cure or treatments which can stop or slow the condition.
Kenneth Foreman, Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re so grateful to Ian for taking on Running Down Dementia and we love that he set himself an extra challenge of doing it in 10 days. What an incredible achievement! There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and this number is set to rise to 1 million by 2025. Our only hope is research.”
To sponsor Ian, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Run10410
You can watch Ian’s videos at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxyWoBF7RtOGq8vIpT5hzqA/videos?view=0&shelf_id=0&sort=dd
Find out more about Running Down Dementia at http://www.runningdowndementia.org. For further information or to learn more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or go to www.alzheimersresearchuk.org.
Posted in Fundraising news