Diaries Magazine

Do Something About Dementia: Give My Sister Your Money!

Posted on the 16 February 2015 by Ellenarnison @Ellen27
My sister is a remarkable woman. She runs a successful - award-winning even - pharmacy business, keeps a dog, two small boys and a wife happy, and still has time for other people. Plus she's pretty good company. 

However, this time she's excelled herself. She's gone and entered the London Marathon. I know that to some people running a marathon isn't that big a deal. After all, thousands of folk do it every year. But I suppose I've been measuring my achievements against hers all our lives. (I quit smoking with the mantra "if she can do it, so can I" going around in my head!). We've done 10Ks together and even a couple of half marathons - panting along companionably, you understand. 

But a marathon. Blimey. My hat is truely off to her. The half marathons just about did me in and they were a good few years ago. 

I'm not running with her, but I'm cheering her along. Proudly. Therefore, I urge you to join me and sponsor her efforts. And if I can't persuade you, maybe she can:

Do something about dementia: Give my sister your money!

My sister: the one on the left

Why the dementia charity?

With an aging population, we are seeing more and more patients in the pharmacy affected by dementia. The effect it has on partners and families is far-reaching.
It reminds me of how we dealt with cancer when I first qualified 25 years ago. Talking in hushed voices. Nobody having the difficult conversations with the patient themselves. To add to that we really don't have very good drugs yet to tackle dementia.

Do you have personal experience?

Only through my work in the pharmacy. Watching the decline of some of the brightest minds I know is very upsetting and to see the effect that has on relatives, friends and carers can be very upsetting.

I also see this as a bit of an insurance policy. By the time I am over 70, one in three of us will be affected by dementia!!!! What would you like to see your sponsorship donations achieve?

I have worked closely with Alzheimer's Scotland in our efforts at the pharmacy to develop a dementia friendly pharmacy and community, and I am really impressed with the Organization and its vision.
They provide much-needed support through dementia advisors, a 24-hour helpline and dementia link workers. I really hope my fundraising can help ensure no one faces dementia alone.
Why the marathon?  The marathon is the ultimate running challenge. London is the ultimate mass participation marathon.
I have previously run 10k and half marathons, but the marathon is different. I only ever want to run one marathon. This is definitely not the beginning of a new obsession! Running doesn't come easily to me. I am not what you would call a natural athlete and I think that makes this more of a challenge. Best bits about training?

I actually like seeing the way my body responds to training. 10 weeks ago the thought of running 10 miles seemed unachievable. Now I have done 10... but 20 seems a very tall order.

I also really love being out training in the early morning. Seeing the first glimpse of daylight, crunching on a frosty pavement or spying a brazen fox crossing my path. Weird? Maybe!
Worst bits?

The early mornings.
Having to take time off training with a cold is frustrating. I'm not known for my patience. How long it takes to run a long way. I only have one running speed and it is verrrry slow! However I have discovered talking books and podcasts which help take me away to another place on long runs.
Have you learned anything about yourself?

I have always liked a challenged and really thought there was nothing I couldn't do if I put my mind to it, but I have had to learn to respect my body and the distance for his one. Probably because the body is not getting any younger.
This is the first challenge I have done where it is really about getting to the start line in one piece and then the stubborn bloody mindedness can get be to get to the end!

Anything you want to add?

Thanks to my family for letting me disappear for hours on end to get the training done. I promise I won't be doing another one....
Sponsor Sally to run the London Marathon for Alzheimer's Scotland.

Do something about dementia: Give my sister your money!

Something else she can do that I can't

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