Sandy artist runs London Marathon for brave father who’s battling rare dementia condition

Mark, Michael and Anne-Marie. "Running the marathon was for both of them" said Mark.
Mark, Michael and Anne-Marie. "Running the marathon was for both of them" said Mark.

A former Sandy Upper School pupil completed his first London Marathon, inspired by his brave father who is battling a rare form of dementia.

Determined artist, Mark Davies, has raised £5,297 for Alzheimer’s Research UK after he completed all 26 miles in Sunday’s sweltering heat.

Mark Davies

Mark Davies

Mark was inspired to take on the challenge - which came just after his 40th birthday - because his dad, Michael, 77, has been “immense” in dealing with Primary Progressive Aphasia - a condition which may not initially affect a person’s memory but alters their reading, writing and speech abilities.

Mark said: “It was intense. The crowds from the start until the end were like nothing I have ever experienced - genuine people who made so much effort to push you on; considering what that city has been through of late the crowd’s spirit and numbers made me really proud.

“Seeing friends and family and getting 5 miles from the finish was such a relief.”

During his time in Sandy, Mark’s father, Michael, worked in the penions industry but also helped the younger generation, with fundraising events for Laburnham Lower School.

Meanwhile. Mark’s mother, Anne-Marie, 70, ran the Sunshine playgroup within Sandye Place, while Mark was a footie fan, playing for Sandy Normans (Cubs), Sandy Colts, and Sir William Peel.

Mark, who now lives in St Neots, said: “Living close to the Sand Hills and just across from the River Ivel was great, and through being proactive within the town our family has made a great set of friends.

“Dad is 77 now and his speech is massively affected which he finds frustrating as he wants to get involved, but his amazing personality shines through. My mum has been a phenomenal support.”

As part of the artist’s fundraising, he created ‘A Picture of Hope’, inspired by Beatrix Potter, selling for £3,495.

Mark added: “I enjoyed art so much within Sandy Upper School - huge respect to Mr Donald and Mrs Browning.”

He would also like to thank marathon cheer squads from Alzheimer’s Research UK.

To donate: justgiving.com/fundraising/markdavieslondonmarathon2018