A ‘Land’s End to John O’ Groats’ charity bike ride which began yesterday (Tuesday) has already hit its fund raising target in aid of Alzheimer’s research.
The ride sees six friends - teamed up as ‘Bike For Brains’ - taking on the challenge, inspired by one rider, Cath Baxter of Largoward, whose mother, Liz, was diagnosed with dementia in 2011.
Their original target was to raise £21,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK for an advanced microscope to help identify and track crucial proteins in brain samples. The week before the ride began, they exceeded their target by almost £5000.
Cath said: “I have planned this for many months, not knowing that my mum would go into a care home just a week before we start. That milestone makes this all the more poignant and we have been overwhelmed by the support.”
Joining Cath are Sally Lorimore from Newport on Tay, Robert Howarth from Ceres, Toby Anstruther and Mihai Cocris – both of Pittenweem, and Wyndham Albery from London.
Cath explained: “We have worked really hard, some of us clocking up more than 2500 miles in our training, but as much as we have suffered with sore limbs – and more – our pain pales into insignificance against the suffering of those affected by Alzheimers.”
None of this would have been possible without the help of so many - both riding and in support.Cath Baxter
Cath, who’s mum spent most of her working life as an orthoptist in hospitals, added: “Mum has moved into a care home and all the sights, sounds and smells are familiar to her. When I left, on her face was a look of compassion and kindness so familiar to me as a youngster. Many of those in the care home are physically much worse off, so I told mum that she might have to help look after those around her – and she agreed.”
“To a person with dementia, distant memories are the ones that feel familiar, it’s that photograph album where the most recent ones on the top are blurred but the ones at the back resonate. The fact that mum is so undisturbed by us leaving her in her new surroundings is sad in one respect, as it shows how far away she is from reality, but in a way that protects her. She has made friends and is enjoying the fact that there are people around her constantly.”
Speaking about the cycle challenge she said: “None of this would have been possible without the help of so many - both riding and in support.”
Cath said thanks were due a number of individuals and companies who have gone the extra mile including photogapher Caroline Trotter, Quaker Oats in Cupar, Your Piece Baking Company and Luvians in St Andrews.”
To show your support for Bike for Brains visit www.justgiving.com/bikeforbrains You can also see more on facebook www.facebook.com/BikeForBrains and on Twitter @BikeForBrains