A runner from Bournemouth, Dorset, is completing three half marathons, a 10-mile race and a 10km race in the space of just a few weeks to raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
James Warren decided to take on the mammoth challenge in honour of his mum and dad, who are both living with dementia.
His 69-year-old mum Hilary Warren had a brain aneurysm at the start of 2007, which led her to develop vascular dementia which she was diagnosed with just a few years later.
Not long after, in 2012, James was dealt the second blow that his 72-year-old dad Chris Warren had Alzheimer’s disease.
James, who lives with his wife Ellie, will be running the Great North Run on 11 September, the Bournemouth Half Marathon on 2 October and the Manchester Half Marathon on 16 October.
He will then complete his 10-mile challenge, the Great South Run on 23 October, before topping his challenge off with the Dorset Coastal Trail Series 10k on 3 December, which has an ascent of 1,500ft.
The 37-year-old, who works as a corporate fundraiser, said:
“My parents did everything for my two sisters and me and put themselves second.
“These were the years that Ma and Pa were supposed to be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of their labours. They should have been travelling, enjoying being grandparents, visiting family and friends. Instead, they are both in a care home.
“When my mum speaks she doesn’t really make any sense. She’ll never truly know any children that Ellie and I may have. It’s such a cruel irony when I think of how much she loves kids, she worked as a teaching assistant for over 20 years. She never remembers what nice days we have had together.
“My father becomes confused and gets extremely frustrated, trying to get a smile out of him these days is incredibly difficult.
“I’m doing these races and raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK so that future generations won’t have to lose their parents and grieve for them before they are actually gone.”
James’ parents have been together since 1969 – nearly 50 years. They met after Hilary moved from Dublin to London and Chris was working in a post office.
Hilary said Chris had short-changed her, but adamant he had not Chris asked her out on a date to diffuse the situation – and they have been together ever since. They now live in a care home together.
Hannah Reynolds, Community and Sporting Events Officer for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“James is an inspirational person who is doing all he can in honour of his mum and dad.
“We could not be more grateful to him for taking on five separate challenges for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
“There are 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, including nearly 9,000 in Dorset. We are funding research which stands the best possible chance of finding future treatments and preventions for dementia. We couldn’t do it without supporters like James.”
To donate to James’s fundraising page go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JWrunningagainstalzheimers and to follow James’s blog go to https://tothenextlandmark.wordpress.com/.
Posted in Fundraising news