Dedicated fundraiser Stephen Cronin, from Durham, will be part of a 30-strong team taking part in the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday 7 September, to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society.
A paediatrician at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, Stephen will be joined by family, friends and colleagues – calling themselves Frank’s Team – who are taking part in the popular half marathon. The 13.2-mile route starts in Newcastle and takes in the iconic Tyne Bridge, before passing through Gateshead and finishing in South Shields. The group is running with thoughts of Stephen’s dad, Frank, in mind. Frank, 81, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease nearly 10 years ago when he was in his early seventies.
It is the second fundraiser Stephen will have completed in the space of a month for Alzheimer’s Research UK as, along with a team of 11, he braved floodwater and torrential rain when he took part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday 10 August.
The 56-year-old is no stranger to putting himself through gruelling challenges to raise funds for charity and has completed eight marathons in total, including the punishing Everest Marathon.
“Dad was a business man and ran his own printing company. He was chairman of the local Variety Club and an international ambassador for the organisation so he personally raised considerable sums for charity. He was a great mathematician, massively logical and a very caring individual.
“Mum died 10 years ago and Dad’s Alzheimer’s was diagnosed about four years after that; it’s a hideous process. It’s an exasperating condition and takes away your pride. Dad can still recognise us but he now needs 24-hour care.
“Funding for dementia research still lags far behind other serious diseases and this must change in order for earlier diagnosis, prevention, new treatments and ultimately a cure to be found. I am happy to be supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK’s pioneering research and hope that one day other families won’t have to experience what Dad is going through.”
Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are very grateful to all of Frank’s team for taking part in both the RideLondon-Surrey 100 and the Great North Run.
“With hundreds of thousands of people living with dementia in the UK, including nearly 7,000 people in County Durham, the need for research has never been greater. We rely on public support to fund our crucial research, and it’s thanks to our energetic fundraisers like Stephen and the rest of the team that we’re able to continue our work.”
To sponsor Frank’s Team visit www.justgiving.com/FranksteamP100/ For more information about Alzheimer’s Research UK call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org