“Dad’s dementia diagnosis inspired me to take on the half marathon challenge”

A young woman puts on her running shoes later this month and is about to run a half marathon in Clontarf for her father who was recently diagnosed with dementia.

erri McIntyre lives in Harold’s Cross and plans to do the BMW Clontarf Half Marathon on November 26th. It will take place against the picturesque backdrop of Clontarf Promenade and Bull Island with views of Howth Head and Dublin Bay.

The 27-year-old hopes to raise funds for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, which she describes as “a cause close to my heart”. She runs three times a week to prepare for the half marathon. She admitted “not really being a runner”, but she trains with her dad in mind.

She told the Irish Independent: “My father was recently diagnosed with dementia, so we have started to benefit from the services of the Alzheimer Society. It’s not something we’ve really thought about before. They do a lot of good work and I think that’s important because you don’t realize the help you need until you need it.

“They helped us. So even if I raise €20, it’s better than nothing. My dad is 74 and he used to live alone, all his kids are grown up and none of us live nearby. So he probably needs the services more.

“Covid didn’t solve the problem because he didn’t have as many visitors and that had a negative effect on him. During the confinements we realized that he was not really like before. The diagnosis is very disappointing to hear, but when you find out what’s wrong, you know how to deal with it.

Kerri, from Donegal, and her family recently had to seek help from the Alzheimer’s charity after her father Michael, also known as Mac, was diagnosed. Although he is in the early stages of the disease, the family hopes that the situation will not worsen.

“My family are from Ballybofey and they are very supportive of it. They encourage me and made a donation to the GoFundMe.

“My dad is doing very well physically, so just having someone come and talk to him is really helpful.” she says.

“He’s in the early stages, he knows who we are. But short-term memory wouldn’t be great, and general life management wouldn’t be as good. But we caught it in time.

“I hope one day something will end it.”