Mum and daughter team up for marathon challenge in memory of dad and grandad

Aimee and Jan Cridland
Aimee and Jan Cridland

A mum and daughter are teaming up to tackle the London Marathon in memory of their dad and grandad who suffered from dementia.

Aimee Cridland, an administrator from Marston Moretaine, will be running the marathon with her mum in April to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Betty and Derek Hill

Betty and Derek Hill

The 25-year-old decided to run the race in memory of her grandad, Derek Hill, who suffered from vascular dementia and died in 2014 aged 85.

Neither Aimee nor her mum, Jan Cridland, have run a marathon before, but hope to raise £5,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK, who fund research into diagnosis, preventions and treatments for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Derek lived with dementia for many years and was cared for by his wife of 63 years, Betty. But the stress of being a full-time carer took its toll on Betty, who was injured after collapsing from exhaustion and fell through a glass door.

Aimee said: “My nan became full-time carer to my grandad, but it got to the point where the dementia caused him to be extremely difficult to care for. My nan ended up collapsing, exhausted from the stress of looking after him 24/7. It was really horrible to witness.

“My mum was so strong and amazing. It took a really big toll on her, seeing her parents as you’d never ever want to see them. It’s the worst thing to ever see a family member go through. I’ve seen what dementia has done to my grandad, mum and nan. Everyone was affected.

“I’m terrified that it will happen to me, my partner or my parents. By raising this money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, we’re trying to stop it from happening to other families. If we can stop that fear and the pain that goes with it – that’s amazing.”

The money raised will help top scientists across the country to conduct world-class dementia research.

Jessica Hiscocks, regional fundraising officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to Aimee and Jan for taking on this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK. There are 850,000 people across the UK living with dementia today, and this number is set to increase exponentially. Amazing fundraising efforts like this help us to power pioneering dementia research, bringing us closer to finding treatments that could change the lives of people living with dementia.”

To sponsor Aimee and Jan visit www.justgiving.com/Aimee-and-Jan-Cridland.

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org