A Stotfold man takes part in his first ever marathon in memory of his father to raise money for a brain research charity.
Dave Moss, aged 52, will be among the thousands in the London Marathon, running in memory of his father Brian who died six months ago having suffered from vascular dementia for three years.
He will be taking part in the marathon on Sunday, April 24, raising funds for The National Brain Appeal, the charity that helped fund the UK’s first Dementia Research Centre at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.
Dave has a personal connection to The National Brain Appeal charity having worked at The National Hospital as a researcher for two years during his training as a scientist.
Now a scientific project manager, he and his wife Jayne have two children Jacob, aged 12, and Abby, aged nine.
Dave said: “My dad was an amazing and inspirational person. To watch helplessly as he was robbed first of his memory and later of his dignity was utterly heartbreaking.”
Brian had been active in retirement, living in Falmouth and enjoying sailing, and visited by his family.
In 2012, Brian, then aged 77, was diagnosed with vascular dementia and received medication, although at this stage he was still mobile and active.
Dave added: “It was probably about two years after he was diagnosed that his symptoms seemed to rapidly progress. He began to find it so hard to communicate that that he became very withdrawn. This was incredibly difficult for us as a family. We could see that he wanted to talk but he just couldn’t find the words. I can’t imagine how confusing and frustrating that must have been for dad.”
By 2014, Brian needed full time care and as his second wife Maxine had her own health issues, Dave, his brother Gary and sister Sarah, found a residential care home in Falmouth. Early last year, after Maxine died, they moved Brian to a home in Chislehurst in Kent, near to Gary and Sarah and close enough that Dave and his family could visit him regularly. Sadly, Brian died in September last year.
Dave, who had been running for general fitness for 15 years, wanted to do something to honour his father’s memory, and came across The National Brain Appeal.
Dave said: “I am delighted to have the chance to do something in dad’s memory whilst at the same time raising valuable funds for The National Brain Appeal. Dementia affects more than 850,000 people in the UK and currently there is no cure.
“I wanted to support a charity who can help find effective treatments. Jayne and I are both scientists and we appreciate that research and developing new drugs is a long term process and needs lots of investment.
“These funds may help another family access the best care for their loved ones, they may lead to better and more targeted treatments or they might just help fund one tiny part of a much larger research programme into the causes of dementia in all its myriad forms. If I can achieve my fundraising target then I’d feel like my dad’s battle wasn’t completely in vain.”
To help Dave reach his fundraising target of £2,500 go to: https://www.justgiving.com/Dave-Moss27