A veteran long-distance runner is preparing to take on his ninth London Marathon to raise vital funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of his mum.
Chris Drummond’s mum, Dot, died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2006, and he has been a supporter of the UK’s leading dementia research charity ever since.
He was made a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK in 2013 in recognition of years of fundraising.
The 54-year-old is not ready to slow down just yet, however, as he is now preparing for his ninth London Marathon bid, and aims to raise £2,500 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Chris Drummond with his wife Terrie
Chris hopes that research will prevent future generations from having to go through the pain he went through when his mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
He had already been a keen runner before his mum developed dementia, and had run the London Marathon twice for another charity.
However, when Dot was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Chris realised that there were no treatments that could prevent or even slow down the progression of the disease.
His mum’s death prompted him to become a supporter of the Cambridge-based charity.
This year will be his seventh time running the marathon to raise funds for dementia research.
“I run the marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK because of my mum’s experience with dementia. It was horrible to watch for us all. She only had it for a very short space of time before she passed away in 2006.
“Towards the end, she had to go into hospital and she finished her days in a care home. The strange thing is that she was aware all the time that she was losing her memory.
“During the Second World War she worked on Wellington Bombers, at Little Ridley, in Oxfordshire. She was very proud of the work she did repairing the aircraft when they returned with bullet holes. She was always passionate about the Wellington Bombers afterwards and her house was a shrine to them.
“After her passing, I decided to raise awareness of dementia and funds for research so that one day other people won’t have to go through what we went through in my mum’s final years.
“We need research so that we can find a way to prevent this from happening to other people.”
The Virgin Money London Marathon is a highlight of Chris’ year, and he says running it for dementia research always pushes him to finish it.
He has already decided that next year – which will be his tenth time running the marathon – will be his last, and is planning a huge celebration for his final attempt.
Kenneth Foreman, Senior Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We would like to thank Chris for his pioneering fundraising for dementia research.
“Our vision is a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia. The only way we can achieve this is through research.
“We are so grateful to Chris for running the Virgin Money London Marathon again for Alzheimer’s Research UK. We wish him all the best of luck.”