A 25-year-old woman from Lerwick is aiming to raise £4,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society after her father was diagnosed with the condition.
Morag Smith had initially intended to run the London marathon this year, but her hopes were dashed after Covid-19 reduced the event to a virtual-only race.
But instead of feeling defeated, Ms Smith organised a hugely successful outdoor car boot sale at the Toll Clock Shopping Centre earlier this month to raise £780, and kickstart her fundraising mission.
Ms Smith, who now lives in London and works in the charity sector, could face a three-year wait to take to the streets of London for the race, with her place deferred to one of the next three marathons.
Ms Smith said that although her family had suspicions, it was still a “massive shock” to discover that her dad, Chris Smith, had Alzheimer’s in December 2018.
“My dad who fixed my bike, my dad who painted my bedroom many shades of pink when I couldn’t decide on the colour, my dad who taught me how to fix a blown fuse over the phone my dad who always cheered the loudest was going to slowly slip away from me,” she said.
She added that she had always known that she would “never want to run a marathon”, referring to it as “26.2 miles of torture”.
But Ms Smith said that if it meant a cure for Alzheimer’s was discovered faster, another family was supported the diagnosis, or the care for people living with dementia was improved then “everyone of those 26.2 miles will be worth it”.
She has already raised more than £1,750 towards her overall £4,000 fundraising target. Those that want to donate towards her appeal can do so by following this link: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=MoragSmith6&pageUrl=1