Canoeing duo to take on 125-mile race to raise funds for dementia research


By Philip Tubby | Thursday 08 March 2018

Two men from Henley-on-Thames are planning on canoeing 125 miles over Easter weekend to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of their dads, who both died from dementia.

Chris Bishop and Paul Reynolds have been training since last summer for the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe race, which will put the pair to the ultimate test.

They are aiming to raise £10,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK and MS UK through their participation in the race.

Chris Bishop (left) and Paul Reynolds (right)

Chris previously attempted the race in 2016, when his efforts were sadly cut short due to an injury, as well as poor weather conditions caused by a storm. However, the attempt still successfully raised £8,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Chris, who is Vice President of International Business Development at Synectics, decided to fundraise for dementia research because of his dad’s experience with the condition.

Chris’s dad, Derek Bishop, sadly died from mixed dementia in 2014. He was initially diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2007 shortly after he turned 70, however he went on to be diagnosed with vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies, as well as Parkinson’s disease.

Chris said:

“My father had been a fireman for 25 years in Newbury, Berkshire, where he lived. Sadly, as dementia took hold, he started to lose his memory and he often didn’t know where he was.

“As the condition progressed, he started to leave the house and go wandering alone. He still had his long-term memory and could remember things from years ago, but his short-term memory just disappeared.

“After dad was admitted to a care home for respite, he broke his hip. Shortly afterwards, we had to face up to the fact that dad could no longer be cared for at home. At that point, we made the difficult decision to move him into a care home full-time.”

“With dementia, you lose your loved ones twice. You lose them when they don’t recognise you anymore, but then you lose them again when they die.

“I support Alzheimer’s Research UK because the only way forward is through research. Dementia is not a normal part of getting old, it’s caused by diseases in the brain. We need to fund research so we can prevent it or even slow down the progression of the condition.

Lindsay Gray, Regional Fundraising Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK said:

“We would like to thank Chris and Paul for taking on this amazing challenge to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“Our vision is a world that is free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia. Our aim is to find the first life-changing treatment for dementia by 2025. That can only be achieved through research.”

Those interested in supporting the duo’s efforts can visit their website for more information and donation details.


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Philip Tubby