Wesham woman to do marathon for dementia, after being told she’d never run again

Kathryn Veevers of Wesham, who is running in the London Marathon to raise money for Alzheimers' charities, inspired by her mom who was diagnosed with the disease.
Kathryn Veevers of Wesham, who is running in the London Marathon to raise money for Alzheimers' charities, inspired by her mom who was diagnosed with the disease.
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Deputy head teacher Kathryn Veevers was told she would never run again after a horrible break in her ankle.

But next month, the 40-year-old from Wesham, will take part in the London Marathon, to raise money for Dementia Revolution – a charity very close to her heart.

She will be running the 26 miles thinking of her mum Janet, who at the age of 54 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Kathryn, who works as a deputy head teacher at a special school in Lancaster, said: “I’ve never run a marathon before. I’ve done a half marathon in the past, but I broke my ankle two years ago and I was told by my physio I would not be able to run again.

“Obviously, I stopped running for a while. I didn’t think I’d ever run a marathon after that.

“I think I have really been spurred on by the reason I’m doing it.

“My mum Janet, is a force to be reckoned with. She was 54 when I first went to a neurological appointment with her, having been referred by her GP, after poor results in a memory test.

“Mum first shared with me she was worried things ‘weren’t right’ just after I’d had my first child. She described everyday jobs as ‘getting harder’ and seemed to lack the organisational skills she had once been so renowned for.

“Two years later, after the birth of my second son, mum’s world collapsed when she had her driving licence removed, following a formal diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

“She had to retire, from her dream job at a local special school. When mum received her diagnosis, my youngest brother, Tom, was just 12 years old.

“Life has changed unbelievably since then. She is now 61 and Alzheimer’s has taken its toll. Unable to do most things for herself, my dad is her carer – without respite – and strives to keep her happy and calm. “The disease has taken away her independence, dignity and more devastatingly, her formidable character.

“I’m doing the London Marathon to raise awareness of this hideous, ravaging and indiscriminate disease; to raise money for more research into why over 40,000 people under 65 in the UK currently live with the illness and to show mum I love her and nothing can be as challenging as what she’s gone through.

“Dementia doesn’t just affect the person, but family members too having to deal with it.

“The work charities like the Alzheimer’s Society do is really good.

“The funds I raise will go towards research into dementia – Dementia Revolution is the Alzheimer’s Society joining forces with Alzheimer’s Research.”

Kathryn’s training has been going well for the event, which takes place on April 28 – juggling it around work, family and her daily commute to Lancaster.

“I’ve been running four times a week. I will get up to about 40 miles a week and then taper it down.”

Kathryn’s grandfather, her mum’s dad, is now also suffering from dementia.

• Visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KathrynVeevers