Runner maxes up his marathon bid in memory of both his grans

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A Falkirk homes boss is on the final stretch of his bid to raise £5,000 for a charity close to heart.

Derek Lawson, (44), aims to raise as much as possible for Alzheimer Scotland in memory of his two grandmothers, who both developed dementia later in life.

He is competing in next Sunday’s Stirling Marathon - despite suffering from asthma - and is reaching out to friends, colleagues and contacts in the wider property industry.

Derek hopes to complete 26.2 miles in just four hours, and to double his original, more modest cash target.

His employer, CALA Homes has also boosted his total by match-funding £500.

Derek (pictured), who is a director with Cala Homes (East), based at its Falkirk office, was inspired after reading statistics on how dementia will impact on the UK’s ageing population.

He said: “Until you have experienced it with a relative, it’s hard to understand how much Alzheimer’s and dementia can impact the lives of those around them. Having had both sides of my family go through it I know the toll it can take.

“Not just that, but it is so difficult to watch the person you’ve always known slip away.

“I hadn’t been planning on fundraising, but I was reading an article recently explaining the number of people in the UK likely to be affected by dementia in years to come and the statistics are mind-blowing and certainly concerning”.

He added: “That really brought back my own experiences and I felt compelled to fundraise for Alzheimer Scotland, who I know do amazing work to improve lives in such difficult circumstances.”

Sa Craig, Events Manager at Alzheimer Scotland said: “We are so grateful to Derek for choosing to raise funds to support Alzheimer Scotland and wish him well for the up and coming Stirling Marathon.

“With around 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and the number on the rise, it is our biggest health and social care challenge.

“All money raised will go a long way to boost our vital services including our local support, services and advice which will help us get closer to achieving our aim of making sure that nobody faces dementia alone.”

In preparation for the big day Derek has been gradually increasing the distances running on country roads.

He said: “I’ve now competed in a few longer races including half marathons – and training for the full marathon has been a real challenge, especially in the winter months.

“I’ve really needed the support of the donations – for which I’m hugely grateful – and I’ll certainly require the motivation of the cause to get me past that finish line.”

To sponsor Derek, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/derek-lawson