Virgin Money, the race sponsors of the London Marathon have named dementia charities Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK as Charity of the Year for the 2019 race. The two charities will join forces for a year-long campaign, called Dementia Revolution, aiming to raise millions of pounds for the UK Dementia Research Institute, working to find better treatments and a cure.
With almost a million-people living with dementia in the UK, it is now sadly the country’s leading cause of death, ahead of heart disease. There are currently no effective treatments to slow, prevent or cure the diseases that cause it.
Through the Dementia Revolution, the charities are aiming to build a team of more than 2,000 runners in the London Marathon 2019. The charities are urging runners to enter the ballot which opens on Monday 30th April and apply for one of their charity places.
Sue Strachan, a runner who attracted widespread support on Sunday when completing the marathon while living with vascular dementia has called on others to get behind the cause:
“I wasn’t a runner at all, but the doctor suggested I take up running to get fit and stay positive after my diagnosis of vascular dementia and here I am with a Virgin Money London Marathon finisher’s medal. I’ve been pounding the country lanes around my house for months surrounded by nothing but sheep, so I cannot put into words how it felt to be out there on the streets on marathon day with the noise of the crowds. The atmosphere was incredible, and I felt so proud to be challenging stereotypes about dementia and raising vital funds for research.
“The Dementia Revolution is an amazing opportunity and I hope everyone will rise up and support it in whatever way they can.”
A woman who has vascular dementia and ran the hottest London Marathon on record described conditions as "brutal". Sue Strachan, from Herefordshire, said she nearly gave up after 10k. The 62-year-old raised over £12,600 for @ARUKnews. Her time was seven hours and 11 minutes �� pic.twitter.com/5vwBMR05U9— BBC Midlands Today (@bbcmtd) April 24, 2018
Jeremy Hughes, CEO of Alzheimer’s’ Society said: “Sadly today, one in three of us will have a close family member or friend who has dementia. For too long people with dementia have been overlooked and forgotten but this special year will help us to bring dementia out of the shadows. As Charity of the Year for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon we have a unique opportunity to inspire action now and raise vital funds for research. We hope that everyone will stand with us, join the Dementia Revolution and change the lives of people with dementia.”
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK added: “The Virgin Money London Marathon is a globally iconic event that brings people together to be a force for good. This year, we’re proud to be joining forces with Alzheimer’s Society to create a groundswell of support for the researchers who are working tirelessly to tackle the condition and transform lives. The UK Dementia Research Institute is all about collaboration and teamwork to power breakthroughs and we’re excited to get recruiting our largest ever team of runners to raise millions to help them make progress faster.”