Relay run to help people affected by Alzheimer’s disease

2014-02-27 00:00

TWENTY runners from around the country are set to participate in a relay run from Johannesburg to Durban to create awareness of the issues surrounding people affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Helen Charalambous, one of the organisers of the event, said that it was something very close to her as her husband suffered from the disease, and she herself was a caregiver to him.

“This the first time the event is taking place to raise awareness around Alzheimer’s and raise funds to train people who are caretakers to people with the disease whether they are in private homes or residential facilities,” she said.

The 20 runners will begin the race at the Glen Shopping Centre in Johannesburg on April 26 and will run over six days for the event which they are calling, “Run to End Alzheimer’s”. The event also the backing of Alzheimer’s South Africa.

Runners will be split into groups and each of the 20 runners will run 10 km per day in a relay.

The group will be going through Vereening, Sasolburg, Heilbron, Petrus Stein, Frankfort, Bethlehem, Golden Gate, Bergville, Winterton, Estcourt, Mooi River and Pietermaritzburg before finishing at the uShaka Marine World in Durban.

Charalambous, who will also be participating as a runner during the event, said that they have been preparing for the run. “We have our route mapped out, we will be staying over at different places over the six days. Each of the runners has been training, we are all runners, and some of us have also run the Comrades. We anticipate each person to be running 10 km per day, but some of the runners may end up running longer than others will,” she said.

Charalambous, who lives in Pretoria, said that her husband was diagnosed with the disease four years ago and taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s was not an easy task and not for just anyone.

“It requires a great deal of patience, compassion, humour, love and a lot of understanding,” she said.

The event is expected to end on May 1. Charalambous said that they will be stopping along to way to educate people about the disease.

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