Are you thinking of signing up for Running Down Dementia but haven’t yet taken the plunge, or are you looking for motivation to keep running through the hot summer months? Then let us introduce you to one of our most remarkable runners whose story will surely inspire you.
Evie Flynn, from Bradford, may only be seven years old, but she’s determined to complete the 100k challenge and raise as much money as she can for dementia research in honour of her great-grandfather who has a rare form of the condition.
Her great-grandfather, who she calls ‘Poppy’, has frontotemporal dementia, a form of dementia which often causes changes to a person’s behaviour and personality and even their speech.
In May the 74-year-old moved into a nursing home. This made Evie very upset, but she was determined to do something positive so signed up for Running Down Dementia.
She has already completed more than 20km from regularly taking part in the Brighouse junior parkrun and doing a couple of 1km or 1.5km runs after school each week. While her brothers and friends will be out enjoying themselves during the summer holidays, Evie will be focused on clocking up the kilometres.
Evie’s mum Charlie said: “I told her 100km is a really long way, but she’s determined to do it. She’s also insistent that walking to school won’t count towards her total – she says it has to be a run where she goes out in her running gear.
“Evie has inspired one of the Run Directors at Brighouse to sign up for Running Down Dementia, as she said if a seven-year-old was doing it then there were no excuses for her not to.
“I’m immensely proud of her. The only thing for me is that she finds it fun – I don’t want her to feel there’s pressure on her to complete it. But she’s really enjoying the challenge and she’s loving that she’s raising money – she’s is forever checking my emails to see if she’s got any more donations.
“When we visited Poppy recently we told him about what Evie is doing and showed him some pictures of her running. Although his dementia is quite advanced now, he still understands things. He had tears in his eyes and you could see he was really proud of her.”
To sponsor Evie click here.
If you haven’t yet signed up for Running Down Dementia, where we challenge you to run or walk 100km before August 31 and raise £100, there’s still time to follow Evie’s lead and take part. It’s just 9km a week on top of your Saturday parkrun. Go to www.runningdowndementia.org
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