Vivien Hunot, from Maresfield, East Sussex, is nearing the halfway stage of a unique challenge, which is raising funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK. The retired psychotherapist and researcher turned 60 on 30 May this year and set herself the ‘Sixty at 60’ challenge – to complete 60 tasks by her next birthday.
Vivien is fundraising for the UK’s leading dementia research charity until 30 November in memory of her late mother-in-law, Grace, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease 30 years ago, aged 70. Then, from 1 December until 30 May, 2016, Vivien will be finishing her list of challenges to raise funds for Shooting Star Chase, a children’s hospice based in Hampton and Guildford.
The list of tasks has been compiled by Vivien with contributions from friends and family and so far she has raised nearly £1,000. Tasks range from those designed to challenge, such as ‘complete a 10k run in less than 60 minutes’ and ‘pluck a chicken’, to the more enjoyable ‘take a punt down the River Cam’ and ‘watch flamenco dancing in Seville’.
Speaking about her reasons for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK, Vivien said:
“Watching my mother-in-law succumb to Alzheimer’s disease was the first experience I had of witnessing somebody I love just disappear from us. I have an aunt who is currently living with the disease and another aunt who died with it. Our family has been hit hard by Alzheimer’s.
“It’s over 20 years since my mother-in-law died and sadly, in terms of treatments available to fight the disease, there is no difference in what is available for those receiving a diagnosis today to what was prescribed then. Dementia affects the whole family; one person gets it but the whole family goes through it too.
“I turned 60 shortly after I retired and I wanted to do something to mark this stage in my life. I had been mentally compiling the list for some time but in January this year I decided I was going to go for it. As well as being a fantastic project for me to do I wanted it to have a purpose and fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK has become a highly motivating factor.
“The tasks are varied and there are some that are enjoyable and some that will challenge me both physically and mentally. Any tasks that involve travel have been funded by myself or are presents from my family.”
Jodie Vaughan, Community Fundraising Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are very grateful to Vivien for choosing to support Alzheimer’s Research UK and wish her the best of luck with her remaining tasks.
“There are 850,000 people across the UK living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias today, including over 10,000 people in East Sussex. With no treatments available to stop the disease process in its tracks, we urgently need new ways to combat this devastating condition.
“Alzheimer’s Research UK invests in research projects that hold the best hope of finding preventions, treatments and a cure for dementia. Research has the power to defeat dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK is leading the charge. We rely on public donations and it’s thanks to people like Vivien we can provide crucial resources for our scientists and fund pioneering research, driving the next breakthrough.”
Vivien’s next challenge is to complete the Worthing Seafront 10k Fun Run on Sunday 18 October. If you would like to help Vivien raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK visit https://www.justgiving.com/Vivien-Hunot/