If you were at the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday then you may have spotted a giant green dinosaur running round the city.
But don’t worry, it wasn’t Godzilla. The dinosaur was none other than Sam Evans, a Run Director at Cardiff’s junior parkrun, who made an appearance as ‘Deano the Dementiasaurus’ in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Sam joined parkrun in 2008 and is a regular parkrunner and volunteer at the Cardiff and Grangemoor events. After running a number of half marathons for charity Sam decided he needed more of a difficult challenge.
The 32-year-old acquired the dinosaur costume from a teacher friend, who found it while clearing out her stock cupboard.
Sam, who teaches English to international students at Cardiff University, has already raised more than £750 for dementia research.
He chose to support Alzheimer’s Research UK after seeing his mum’s cousin, Angela Wilkinson, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Angela, 70, was diagnosed three years ago and currently receives 24-hour care in a residential home in her home town of Barrow-in-Furness. The disease has affected her memory, behaviour and communication, leaving her barely able to speak.
As Angela’s only living relatives, Sam and his mum have done all they can to make sure she’s cared for. Sam’s mum, Helen Samuel, retired from her teaching career just as the diagnosis came and has put her plans on hold to see to Angela and look after her affairs.
Sam said: “Having seen the severe impact dementia can have on individuals, I think it is one of the most terrifying fortunes anyone could face, yet there is still so much that we don’t know about this condition. Dementia research is vital so that we can find out more information about the causes and possible methods of prevention or treatment.
“Until we can find a way to prevent or even cure dementia, a huge proportion of people will be affected by it at some stage of their life. Despite this, there are still many misconceptions about dementia – this needs to change and I hope Deano has helped me to raise some much-needed awareness.”
Sam has previously dressed as a tap, as a ninja and carrying a surfboard whilst singing the entire back-catalogue of the Beach Boys while running half marathons – but this was his first time as a dementiasaurus.
To support Sam, visit Justgiving here.
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