A dedicated fundraiser from Ware has raised an enormous £1,400 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, after taking part in a 5k race that saw competitors running through a cloud of coloured powder. Amanda O’Keefe took part in the Dubai Colour Run on Saturday, spurred on by thoughts of her mother, Winnie Brewer, who died this year with vascular dementia.
Amanda, who grew up in Ware but currently works in Dubai, signed up for the challenge with her friend, Michelle Gartland. As part of the event, 8,500 competitors were showered with different coloured powders throughout the 5k course, with a ‘colour festival’ at the finish line that saw every runner decorated with every colour of the rainbow.
Amanda is not the first member of her family to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK – her brother, Kevin Zokay-West, has already been supporting the charity after learning of its work through Iceland Foods, where he works. Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation has raised a colossal £2.2m for Alzheimer’s Research UK over the last two years.
Amanda explained her motivation for taking part in the race:
“When I went home to get married in March 2011 Mum gave me away at the wedding, and we knew then that something was not right. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia a few months later, and it was incredibly difficult for the whole family. I went back home to look after her for three months, but Mum’s husband Les Brewer took a huge amount of strain, caring for her for two years.
“I started running with Michelle a while ago, and after Mum died I was keen to do something to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. When we found the Colour Run we thought it was perfect, as there’s no pressure to finish in a certain time and it sounded like a lot of fun. It was a brilliant day! We were smiling all the way through and by the end of it we looked ridiculous but we felt great. I know Mum would have been proud, and if she could have seen me she probably would have had a good laugh at me too. It’s great to know we’ve raised so much for the dementia research experts, and it makes the whole day worthwhile.”
Miranda Johnson, Head of Corporate and Community Fundraising at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“This is an incredible effort! We can’t thank Amanda and Michelle enough for their support – the amount they’ve raised is enough to pay for 70 hours of pioneering research to bring new treatments, preventions and improved diagnosis ever closer. We rely on our supporters to fund our vital research, and it’s thanks to people like Amanda and Michelle that we’re able to continue our work. With hundreds of thousands of people affected by dementia, including more than 11,000 people in Hertfordshire, investment in research is vital if we are to find ways of tackling this devastating condition.”
To add to Amanda and Michelle’s fundraising total visit www.justgiving.com/amanda-michelle, or to find out more about raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 111 5 777.