We all know that exercise gets our cardiovascular system going and helps our bodies and brains function better. It also gets endorphins (Happiness Hormones) flowing, and no-one needs those more than a person caring for a loved one – especially if that loved one barely knows your name, these days.
I've been running every day with my husband since March and we meet other regulars on most days. Those we didn't know the names of, we gave our own names such as: 'Man-with-beagle', 'University-rugby-guy'; 'Dad-with-pretty-daughter' and 'Very-fit-old-lady.' We would all greet each other with a smile. It was infectious and started our days off really well. It filled up my patience bucket, ready for a difficult day of homeschooling my kids. I called it my 'sanity run'.
It turns out that 'Very-fit-old-lady' was none other than Irene Brearey (79) from Crossfields, who has been caring for her husband, Mick since he was diagnosed with dementia in 2014. Irene started running as a way to cope with the demands of being a carer. Caring for someone with dementia, especially the person you love most in the world, (as many of you who have had to do this know only too well), is insanely demanding: Mentally, physically and emotionally.
Irene had an ambition to do the Deva Divas Sprint triathlon this summer which was cancelled, as most other things have been. She remembers doing the mini Santa dash with her grandson, when he was 4 years old, encouraging him when it got tough; "Come on, Arran, you can do it". Last year, Irene did the main Liverpool Santa dash with the now 17 year old Arran and the tables were turned as he encouraged her..."Come on Nana, you can do it!".
As the Deva Divas didn't happen, she wanted to do something else to raise money for her favourite charities: Children in Need and Tarporley War Memorial Hospital, who have cared for her husband from time to time so very well. As many of you already know, Irene has set herself a challenge to run 80 miles before her 80th birthday on 1st January.
Irene has already done over 40 of the planned 80 miles. She would love to reach that goal and running with her this morning, I see no reason why she shouldn't. She's an amazing lady with an infectious smile and she really inspires me. As I told her this morning... when I grow up, I want to be like you!
To donate, click on this link to Irene's Virgin money giving page:
Let's see if we can give her charities a nice Christmas bonus!
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