Sarah from 2BR news is swapping her heels for hiking boots to take on one mammoth challenge.
100k in 24 hours for a great cause – that’s going to lead to some blisters!
Sarah is walking to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, a cause very close to her heart….
“My Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, it’s been a difficult journey over the past 3 years with a lot of highs and lows.
My Grandma, no longer recognises me without being prompted but despite that she’s still – on good days – the same bright, funny caring woman she always has been".
You can support Sarah online or by texting SCOL77 and the amount to 70070
So Saturday was the big walk.
After months of training and preparation, I was ready to set off on my 100k trek.
What I wasn't prepared for was the weather, 2 days of non-stop rain and more forecast for Saturday, this wasn't going to be easy.
I'm still struggling to find the words to sum up Saturday. It was an incredible day filled with euphoric highs and debilitating lows. Crossing the second fell - now affectionately known as 'Hell Fell' was a real slog, trying to navigate various bogs really did sap our energy.
At Dunsop Bridge, I'm not ashamed to admit that I was very close to calling it a day, especially when my walking buddy admitted she couldn't carry on.
A dry change of clothes and warm food gave me the strength to pick myself up and carry on - after introducing myself to two women in the toilet and asking if I could join them.
At that point I was determined that I was going to get to 100k come hell or high water, unfortunately high water put an end to the whole thing.
At 10:00pm after 14 hours of walking organisers pulled the plug on the whole event on safety grounds.
It was a mixture of emotions, disappointment and relief to be getting out of the rain but an overriding feeling of having let people down....
I have to say thank you to so many people, firstly to LED Electrical for their support; my wonderfully crazy colleagues who were on hand with morale boosting messages at various points on Saturday; my husband Scott for arriving at various points with food, water, dry clothes and hugs; my best friend for agreeing to walk with me, she's been at my side for 21 years and more often than not it's left us ridiculous situations (like this). And last but not least you guys for sponsoring me, for following my journey and getting in touch.
It's been a very surreal journey and the first time I've felt comfortable talking about my Grandma and the people I've met along the way have really helped.
Life with Alzheimer's disease....
I met Terry and Tina Jones from Blackburn.
Terry was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease just over 3 years ago.
The 58 year old had suspected there was something wrong for a number of years before being diagnosed.
He had to give up work and now dedicates his time to raising awareness and helping other families.....
Mark Part 2....
Yesterday we met Mark Houghton, who undertook his own challenge for the Alzheimer's Society in memory of his dad. In Part 2 of his interview he spoke to me about how he felt on his journey...
Finding out what others have done.....
As part of my Walking for Memories journey I've been to meet Mark Houghton who undertook his own mammoth challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society and raise awareness of the disease....
I spoke to Mark about what spurred him on and his feelings as he walked 450 miles over 3 weeks. Part one of his interview is below:
I'll bring part 2 tomorrow!
Last year a video started doing the rounds on social media that immediately caught eye.
Simon McDermott had filmed him and his dad driving around Blackburn singing.
Simon's dad Ted was originally a Butlins Redcoat and loved to sing.
The 80 year old has Alzheimer's, his memory has deteriorated, he no longer recognises his family, Simon has always said that when his dad sings he gets a part of him back.
That's how the 'Song-a-minute man' was born, it's story that saw the duo raise £150,000 for the Alzheimer's Society, win a Pride of Britain award and win a record deal.
I met with Simon to hear more about how it all came about.....
So, 3 hours on a cross trainer, in a hot studio, easy!
It was definitely one of the stranger training sessions I've completed but a lot of fun.
With 2 weeks to go (eeek) all my walks are planned for the next week as desperately try to make sure I'm as ready as I can be, there'll no doubt be more challenges set by Paul Winstanley so make sure you keep listening on air.
As always any support is much appreciated and than you to everyone who's donated so far!
Firstly a big THANK YOU for sponsorship so far. We're now half way there!
The weather hasn't exactly been kind to me during training on late....
However I've still managed to get out and about and test out my new walking sticks, I now feel like a proper walker.
I'm not going to lie the cold, wind and rain makes it difficult to motivate myself. I mean, who wants to go outside in this weather?
Stupidly I mentioned this to Paul Winstanley and he came up with a solution....so tomorrow I'll be spending the entirety of his show on a cross trainer.....join me tomorrow from 10 to see how this one pans out.
Getting a taste of life with Dementia...
As part of my journey I went to Burnley General Hospital to get a taste of the training staff are put through.
The dementia tour simulates the most common symptoms people living conditions like Alzheimer's face and tries to give staff an understanding of why patients may act in a certain way.
See the video here;
Before undertaking the tour I was told it would allow me to 'get inside the mind' of a dementia sufferer.
So I was handed special glasses, gloves and insoles....
What it does is alters senses and perception to simulate the day-to-day experiences of people with Alzheimer’s.
So the glasses only allow tunnel vision and insoles which cause pins and needles - these were unbearable.
It also uses headphones which play constant background noise and gloves which hinder sense of touch.
After putting on the equipment I was given a set of instructions and tasks to carry out, I didn't hear a single instruction.
I had no idea what I was meant to do and felt completely out of control.
Ir difficult to put in to words the feeling of utter bewilderment, the only thing that calmed down the feelings of confusion was folding clothes - I was later told that most people find having something to focus on a comfort. You can imagine my anger when the pile was moved out of my way.
Watching how other reacted to the tour was eye-opening, I could pinpoint the behaviour of my Grandma.
I that 10 minutes (which felt like 10 hours) I've learnt more about what my Grandma and others are dealing with on a day to day basis than I have in the 4 years since she was diagnosed.
I didn't like the tour, it was awful, but definitely worth while.
Part of this challenge is about raising awareness of the work the Alzheimer’s Society do, they’re there at times of crisis, lending and understanding ear and helping families and carers through the minefield that is this cruel disease. To do that they need all the help they can get which is why I’ve (stupidly some might say) set myself this ridiculous challenge”.
Or text SCOL 77 and the amount to 70070
FUNDRAISING - £380
MILES WALKED - LOST COUNT (doh!)
Thank you so much for all your support so far.
It's been quite the week and it's involved A LOT of walking.
So on Thursday, I set myself the challenge of walking home from work. I thought it'd help with how I'm going to feel at 3:00am when I do the walk for real.
It didn't exactly go to plan but I did make it!
I headed out from Petre Court at around 12:00pm finally arriving home 5 hours later after sweating, getting rained on and taking an unintentional detour.
Yes, I managed to go completely the wrong way at Gannow Top round about in Burnley and by this point I really needed my afternoon nap.
Luckily Paul Winstanley was hand with words of encouragement and support..
Lessons learnt: plan a route, don't overdo layers and get some waterproof trousers.....
This week I'll be meeting Lancashire families who've been helped by the Alzheimer's Society and of course doing more training. Keep up to date here and on air.
DAY ONE: Here goes......
100k in 24 hours, how hard can it be?
I do fear I may have bitten off more than I can chew but I'm doing this walk for a cause that is very close to my heart.
My wonderful Grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2014, to be honest it didn't come as a huge surprise but that doesn't make it any less heartbreaking.
The years since then have been quite the roller coaster, we live from day to day not knowing what challenges are on the way.
It's not something I find easy to talk about, I prefer to make a joke and crack on. However to help raise awareness and sponsorship I've decided to share my experiences.....