Woman inspired to run for Alzheimer Scotland in Father’s memory

WOMAN INSPIRED TO RUN FOR ALZHEIMER SCOTLAND IN FATHER’S MEMORY

Ursula Hunter, 47 from Edinburgh, ran the Edinburgh Half Marathon in 2018 for Alzheimer Scotland.

She was inspired to fundraise for the charity after receiving the devastating news her Father was diagnosed with terminal Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia in January 2018, aged 71.

Whilst admitted to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow for tests for memory loss, Ursula’s Father suffered a serious seizure. Afterwards, he was left stripped of every day abilities he once had – including walking and many of his cognitive skills.

“He was unable to walk or feed himself. His speech did come back but he couldn’t understand what was going on around him anymore” Ursula explained.

“I felt like I had already lost my father, the man that I knew was hardly there anymore, just a flicker… perhaps only for a few moments when I visited”.

Sadly just eight months later, Ursula’s father passed away.

“He had been so inspirational, a hard-working artist with an academic mind, a great reader, thinker and teacher, who had a wonderful spirit and a creative mind. I couldn’t understand how this learned knowledge and bright personality could all go so quickly”.

After her Father’s death, Ursula wanted to do something meaningful that could help change the lives of people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

“I think as a society we need to spread awareness about Dementia, to show just how debilitating it is and how it can happen to anyone and not only when we are elderly, people in their 50’s have been diagnosed with it. If only more research could be done to help people with early onset Alzheimer’s, to find ways to slow the progression of this terrible illness”.

Alzheimer Scotland is the leading dementia organisation in Scotland, campaigning for the rights of people with dementia and their families as well as providing an extensive range of innovative and personalised support services.

By deciding to take on the Edinburgh Half Marathon in memory of her dad, Ursula raised over an incredible £1000 for Alzheimer Scotland.

“It was a great experience and such a sense of achievement! I’ve learned how much can be achieved when you put your mind to it. Especially when you are inspired by the memory of a loved one or a respected person in your community”.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

If you would like to follow in Ursula’s footsteps at this years’ Edinburgh Marathon Festival and run for Alzheimer Scotland, please click here.

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Student Inspired by Dad to Run Edinburgh Half Marathon for Stroke Association

STUDENT INSPIRED BY DAD TO RUN EDINBURGH HALF MARATHON FOR STROKE ASSOCIATION

Matilda Duffy, 22, is taking on the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May for the Stroke Association after her dad, Chris, had a stroke seven years ago – when Matilda was just 14.

The aftermath of Chris’ stroke had a big impact on not only him but all of the family and he lost all of his speech.

“Dad’s stroke meant a lot of things changed. Dad was no longer able to drive or travel independently, so everyone had to help Dad get about, take him shopping and attend appointments”.

Despite having very limited speech still to this day, Chris has, however, relearnt to communicate and participate in an active and completely normal life.

“I think as much as things changed, he’s still the same old Dad, especially since he’s regained much of his independence!” Matilda explained.

Chris attends his local Stroke Association group which has helped him to build a wonderful network of friends.

For the last two years Matilda & Chris have both participated together in their local Stroke Association Resolution Run. Despite not considering herself “a runner” this has inspired Matilda to take a step up to a more challenging distance at the Edinburgh Half Marathon.

Chris is a wonderful inspiration to Matilda and it makes her proud to see how far he has come.

“The most inspiring thing about Dad is just how he gets on with it and we of course appreciate it hasn’t been easy for him. He’s so brave and confident and doesn’t let his disabilities get in the way of him doing what he wants, often to the horror of me!”

Matilda is passionate about helping people who have suffered a Stroke and is currently at university, training to become a speech and language therapist, in part due to her dad’s experience.

“He’s certainly not a victim, and I’m just so proud of him and how brave he is!”

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

If you would like to join Matilda & the rest of Team Stroke at Edinburgh Marathon Festival, please click here.

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Daughter inspired to run Edinburgh Half Marathon after Dad’s MS diagnosis

DAUGHTER INSPIRED TO RUN EDINBURGH HALF MARATHON AFTER DAD’S MS DIAGNOSIS

Jo Perrin, 24, from Edinburgh is running in the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May for MS Society.

Jo has set herself the challenge in support of her Dad who has been battling with Multiple sclerosis (MS) for over 10 years.

“Not a day goes by that Dad doesn’t amaze me with how strong he is and he doesn’t let MS bring him down, even on the bad days”.

Over 100,000 of people in the UK have MS. It’s an unpredictable condition and different for everyone. Often painful, exhausting it can cause problems with walking, movement, seeing, thinking and feeling.

Pushing herself out of her comfort zone, Jo admits running 13.1 miles in the Edinburgh Half Marathon is going to be a real challenge but she is determined to achieve the goal she has set herself in support of her Dad.

“Signing myself up for a Half Marathon is totally out of my comfort zone but I want to make my dad proud just like he does me every single day”.

MS Society are a community of people who pool experience, expertise and voices to drive change. Providing care, share supporting, and commissioning life-changing research – all of which help those with MS and their loved ones to face the future with more confidence.

“If my dad can achieve the things he does day after day then I can do this to!”

You too can join the MS Superstars at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. To find out more click here.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

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Running the Edinburgh Half Marathon for Team Macmillan – Lauren’s Story
Running the Edinburgh Half Marathon for Team Macmillan – Lauren’s Story

Last year Lauren decided to take the plunge and sign up for the Edinburgh Half Marathon and fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support. Read her story:

Why did you decide to run in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival?

“I think the event is incredible. I’ve ran the half for the past 2 years and the support on the course is second to none, especially when you’re running for a charity. It’s so well organised and I can’t think of any faults with the event itself. This will be my second marathon so I’m definitely aiming for a PB.” 

Why did you choose to run for Macmillan?

“I have chosen to run for Macmillan because the Macmillan nurses at the Borders General Hospital looked after my mum when she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2015. They were there to support my mum, myself, my dad and the rest of the family from the day of diagnosis to the day she sadly passed away. Even though she was moved to a local hospital, they still stayed in touch.”

How does it feel to be part of Team Macmillan?

“It is such an amazing team to be a part of. My experience in Team Macmillan over the past 2 years has been super positive and motivating. The support provided from the start to the actual event itself is brilliant, and the Macmillan cheer points on the marathon course are the loudest by far! The noise they make is insane and they cheer for every runner, but if you’re wearing a Macmillan top prepare to be deafened!! There’s always ample high 5’s, orange slices and sweeties at the cheer points which are all very much welcome, especially at the closest one to the end. One year when I’m not running in the actual event itself I’ll definitely be cheering at a Macmillan cheer point!”

Any top tips to share with others about your training or fundraising?

“Training wise, take it easy and build up the miles slowly, and never miss a long run! Fundraising wise, get all your friends involved and make it as fun as possible. Try to involve your local community as much as possible.”

What would you say to someone considering running for charity?

“I would say definitely do it! Not only are you raising money for a good cause, you’re getting fit in the process. When you find it hard during training, just think of the reason behind it and you will definitely feel motivated to keep going.”

Have you been inspired by Lauren? Follow in her footsteps and click here to run Edinburgh with Team Macmillan today.

Second only to London in terms of size in the UK, the Edinburgh Marathon Festival has nine races on offer, guaranteeing there is something for everyone from the seasoned runner to children just starting out on their running journey. The fun kicks off on Saturday 25th May at Holyrood Park with a 10K, 5K and four junior races. On Sunday 26th May the Edinburgh Marathon, Edinburgh Half Marathon and Team Relay start from the heart of Edinburgh City as runners embark on new city centre route launched in 2018.

For more information, visit www.edinburghmarathon.com

For more information on the work of Macmillan Cancer Support, please visit www.macmillan.org.uk

Being part of Team Macmillan means that we’re here to support you, your family and your friends too. If you have any questions about cancer, call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00 (Open 7 days a week 8am-8pm).

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Mum Shirley gets set for EMF 5k with help from pony pal Winnie
A young mum who was left temporarily paralysed is set to take part in the
Edinburgh Marathon Festival 5k to raise funds for MS Society Scotland.

Shirley Reise was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2017 after becoming
unable to move from the chest down and experiencing loss of vision.

But less than a year on, and with the help of friends, family and one very special pony, the 33-year- old is raising funds for MS Society Scotland by taking on the EMF 5K this May.

Shirley who works in Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service, said:
“Experiencing paralysis from the chest down and blindness was one of the most
scary and overwhelming experiences of my life. If someone told me that I would be running a 5k nearly a year to the date of diagnosis, I would never have believed it. Going from being in a wheelchair to wearing my trainers and running is unbelievable.”

Shirley, who is mum to Joseph, stuck up an everlasting friendship with her son’s
chestnut Shetland pony Winnie as she began her recovery as well as dealing
with her diagnosis.

Shirley who lives in Pitlessie, Fife, said: “My family and friends would carry me
into the field and let me sit in peace with my horses. Winnie would stand beside
me for hours, grazing and being happy to let me groom her and teach her tricks.

“I developed a special bond with her and she comes for walks with me and my
dogs to get fit in preparation for EMF. Winnie was bought for my son but she has blessed our family in so many ways. Although my son has nearly outgrown her, she has earned her keep for life with us.”

As Shirley looked ahead to see what she could do to support others living with
the neurological condition which affects more than 11,000 people in Scotland,
she decided to look at MS Society Scotland’s fundraising events. And she was
overwhelmed when her colleagues at Fife Council decided to get behind her
upcoming EMF 5k.

Shirley said: “The team surprised me with a box. I opened it to find a stack of
registration papers for each of the team to participate with me and help me get
over the finish line. “I have been blessed with the greatest of colleagues and management within my team. They have been exemplary in the whole concept of ‘practicing what we preach’. I belong to the Supported Employment Service of Fife Council and we help those with health conditions and disabilities obtain employment. Part of what we do also includes the provision of a retention service to those who find themselves developing a health condition or disability whilst in work and finding ways via reasonable adjustments to help people stay in their employment. My team have been an exceptional display of how this ought to be done.

She added: “I have gone from a busy mum, working full time, riding my horse
and being very independent to entirely incapacitated then full circle again.
“The MS Society provided me with a wealth of knowledge and supportive
resources, and I want to raise money for them to do the same for someone else. It’s not just fundraising, it’s literally life changing.”  

Gemma Cowan, Fundraising Events Manager for MS Society Scotland said: “We
are delighted that Shirley is taking part in this amazing challenge to raise funds
for people affected by MS.

“Shirley’s story is extremely inspiring and we were thrilled to also meet her
fantastic companion Winnie. Together they make an incredible team and the
bond between Shirley and Winnie is wonderful.

“As well as this, we were touched to hear about the fantastic support Shirley has received from her colleagues and we are so excited to have them in our MS
Superstars team this year. Fundraisers like Shirley and her team help support
the MS Society to drive research into more – and better treatments for
everyone.”

MS is unpredictable, different for everyone and can affect how a person thinks,
feels and moves. The MS Society also provide a free confidential helpline on
0808 800 8000 which offers information and support on everything from being
newly diagnosed to treatment options.

For more information on the work of the MS Society, please visit
www.mssociety.org.uk

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