Apparently 60 is the new 40 and a lady from Robertsbridge is a shining example of just how true that may be as she gets ready to take on her latest charity challenge for dementia research.
To date Susie Hewer has run a whopping 144 marathons and 24 ultra-marathons, but the 60-year-old has no intention of resting on her laurels as she plans to run 100 miles in 32 hours to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. She has already raised more than £50,000 in 13 years supporting the charity.
Susie might now be taking her most extreme challenge yet as she prepares to run 32 hours straight at The Viking Challenge, Reculver, Kent, this weekend (March 10-11). Those taking part race to complete 100 miles within the 32-hour time limit.
Susie says she is running the distance to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK because her mum, Peggy, died from vascular dementia in 2005. “People sometimes ask me why I’m still fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK and why I keep talking about dementia,” she said. “The reason is that I can see we are starting to make a difference. I started to speak out about dementia because it was only ever spoken about in hushed tones, as if it was something shameful, and people didn’t fully understand just how awful the condition becomes.”
“I still feel that stigma hanging around us now, although a lot more people are speaking out about their experiences.”
Susie said the years in which her mother had vascular dementia were extremely difficult. “It started with forgetfulness, and at first we just thought it was a normal part of ageing and didn’t think it was something to worry about.
“After a while, her condition got worse. In the final stages, she started to have mood swings and became violent and aggressive. It was truly awful.
“People might think I’m crazy but having watched my dear mum gradually fade away with vascular dementia, I can’t rest until I have raised more money for research into this dreadful disease. When compared with other illnesses, research is underfunded. We need to keep working hard to raise funds for dementia research so that one day, families can be spared from the pain it brings.”
Georgi Welch, Regional Fundraising Officer for Alzheimer’s Research UK (South East) said: “We are so grateful to Susie for taking on this amazing challenge to raise funds for vital research into dementia. There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Research is vital.”
To donate to Susie, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/extremeknittingredhead