Ex-carer bids to make difference with Alzheimer's charity run

Littleport woman prepares for Alzheimer's Great North Run fundraiser

Naomi Lyon will take on her second Great North Run for Alzheimer's Society in a bid to raise awareness of the disease. - Credit: Naomi Lyon

A former carer who looked after residents living with dementia hopes her half-marathon charity bid can raise more awareness of the disease. 

Naomi Lyon of Littleport is preparing to take part in this year’s Great North Run (GNR), the second time she will compete in the northeast event. 

“I was a carer in the community where I was going to people’s houses. I stopped doing that two to three years ago, but it’s still something that means a lot to me,” she said. 

Naomi previously ran the Great North Run two years ago when she raised £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support, despite doing no training beforehand. 

This time round, the 33-year-old is already running three to four miles regularly as she looks to leave no regrets ahead of the day. 

“I did the GNR two years ago in three hours and 19 minutes, and I had never done that event before. As I’m now training, I aim to do it in at least two hours and 45 minutes,” Naomi said. 

“This month, I’ll also be running every other day and also signed up for the Great Solo Run where you pledge to run 15 times during March. 

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“I’m doing a sponsored memory walk for Alzheimer’s Society on March 20, in memory of someone I know that has Alzheimer’s or people I’ve looked after.” 

Naomi, now a warehouse supervisor, said she understood the effects of knowing someone living with Alzheimer’s from her work once her grandma was diagnosed with the disease. 

While she will go alone on race day in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, she feels not enough people truly know the effects surrounding dementia, a belief she wants to change. 

“I think more people need to know about dementia and the affects it can have on not only the person suffering with it but also the family members,” she added. 

“I think people don’t quite understand dementia like it’s just people suffering from memory loss. It runs deeper than that.

“I know the effect it can have, not on those suffering, but families as it’s hard for them to see mum or dad go through that. 

“I don’t think a lot of people understand what it is and if they know briefly about it, maybe they will do something similar to help.” 

To donate, visit Naomi’s JustGiving page at: https://bit.ly/37V2IRa.