Special photo inspires Evie’s fundraising efforts

A special photo of her great grandmother will be inspiring Evie Shaw when she runs the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Evie Shaw

The 19-year-old, from Louth, will be running the 13.1-mile race on Sunday April 3 in memory of her great grandmother Rose, who died in 2015 after living with Alzheimer’s disease.

While digging out some old photos of Rose to include on her fundraising page, Evie found a picture of her from when she ran a fitness class in the 1970s.

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This is particularly poignant for Evie’s fundraising challenge, as Alzheimer’s Research UK’s theme for this year’s race is: ‘Let’s get physical!’.

An old photograph of Evie's great grandmother Rose

The charity’s cheer squads will be dressed in keep-fit gear and the charity will be promoting its ‘Think Brain Health’ campaign, empowering people to be active and help reduce their risk of dementia.

Evie said: “My great grandma Rose was a very special woman, she had a personality like no other. She was a true Sheffield-Yorkshire lass but then she eventually moved to Mablethorpe.

“But before that she moved to Australia in 1950 and travelled all the way on a boat.

“In her younger days she led a fitness class and running group. This was all off her own back as she wanted to keep fit as well as help others.

“I found an amazing photo of her in keep-fit gear in the 1970s. I’m definitely going to put it on my running T-shirt!

“It’s amazing to think I’m now going to be running a race in her memory.

“She achieved many things in her time and was always caring and thinking about others. She worked in many PA jobs and then trained as a nurse. She was also a town councillor. She never stopped!

“Even when she was in a nursing home, she always took part in the events, she didn’t like to miss out. I’m sure she would have loved to come along and watch me run the half marathon.”

Evie added: “Unfortunately, like so many people across the world, she was affected by the horrible disease of Alzheimer’s. She progressively got worse over the years which wasn’t nice to see.

“Eventually she got to the point where we couldn’t have a conversation, but we certainly knew what she was trying to tell us by the look in her eyes.

“One memory I have of her is that she had a photo of me on her bedside table and every day without fail she would hold this until I arrived at the care home after school.

“Dementia research is so important to me as I know the impact it will have on so many people when new treatments are found. We can all do our bit to hopefully find a cure to this cruel disease.”

Evie has previously raised over £3,000 for dementia research by abseiling from the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge in 2018 and organising a charity walk in 2019.

She is now looking forward to taking on her first race for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

She said: “Running in a large event has always been on my bucket list of things to do. I was attracted to London Landmarks as it’s a little different to all the rest.

“Knowing that I will be taking in some amazing sights of London while running will be a once in a lifetime experience.

“Not only will the sights be amazing but being able to run on behalf of such a worthy cause makes it that little bit extra special.

“I’m sure the support from the crowds and charity cheer squad will push me all the way through to the finish line.”

• Visit https://gofund.me/910800b9 to make a donation.