Norwich mum tells her story in video for Running Down Dementia

19 April 2018

A woman from Norwich whose mum has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease is the star of a new video promoting a national fundraising campaign for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Cheryl Herrieven was asked to tell her story in a film for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Running Down Dementia challenge as she has been one of the top fundraisers for the campaign over the last two years.

Cheryl Herrieven

Cheryl Herrieven

The mum-of-two was filmed at Catton Park during a parkrun, while shots of her and other parkrunners were also used for the main campaign video.

The award-winning campaign, which launched for a third year at the beginning of this month, challenges people to run or walk 100km before August 31 and raise £100 for pioneering dementia research.

Cheryl Herrieven

Cheryl Herrieven

Cheryl was not a runner when she first signed up for the challenge in 2016 but was inspired to complete the 100km as her mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease aged 64.

She completed the final kilometres at the Eaton Park parkrun on her 40th birthday with her mum at the finish line cheering her home.

Cheryl is now a regular runner and last year ran 300km and also achieved her aims of completing a 10km race and doing a sub-30-minute 5km. She has raised more than £2,000.

She said:

“Running Down Dementia is a fantastic campaign. It’s had a really positive impact on my life. I wasn’t a runner until I started the challenge but now I run regularly and my fitness has improved greatly.

“My mum’s diagnosis has had a big impact on my family, so it was good to be able to do something positive through Running Down Dementia.

“I’m very proud to play a part in promoting this year’s challenge.”

You can watch Cheryl’s video, along with videos about other inspirational runners, at

Cheryl has signed up for Running Down Dementia again this year. To sponsor her go to

Kenneth Foreman, Senior Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We had a great time filming with Cheryl and the Catton Park parkrunners.

“Cheryl has been a brilliant supporter of Running Down Dementia and we hope her story encourages lots of people to sign up for the challenge.

“There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK and Alzheimer’s Research UK is on a mission to end the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia. Each and every runner who takes part in Running Down Dementia is striking a blow in the battle against dementia.”

Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is the official charity partner of parkrun UK, first launched Running Down Dementia in 2016. Since then it has raised around £470,000 – enough to enable the charity to fund two major research projects. Last year more than 4,000 people signed up for the challenge and they clocked up 367,178km – more than nine times the circumference of the Earth.

The challenge is open to everyone, regardless of age or fitness. There is no right or wrong way to complete the 100km, and participants can split up the distance into whatever chunks they like and  clock up the kilometres at parkrun, on the street or the gym.

When someone signs up they create their own supporter page where people can see how they are getting on and sponsor them. Participants can connect tracking apps such as Strava or MapMyFitness to their supporter page to track and record their activity or can manually add runs.

To sign up for Running Down Dementia go to

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit