Queen’s Park woman trains for marathon in Namibia desert

Film maker refuses to let sweltering heat interrupt her plans

A DOUBLE blow in the family has spurred a filmmaker to run the marathon in a charity fundraising mission.

Victoria Wood, 31, of Shirland Road, Queen’s Park, is aiming to boost the coffers of Alzheimer’s Research UK by �3,000 by taking part in the 26.2-mile race on April 17.

Ms Wood’s choice of charity is a poignant one as her grandmother and great-aunt are both suffering from Alzheimer disease, a form of senile dementia which causes memory loss, confusion and mood changes.

She said: “It’s a devastating disease with obvious prominence in my family and I’m appalled that research to find new treatments is desperately underfunded.

“My gran found out she had Alzheimer’s three years ago. She’s in her 80s now but is incredibly independent and feisty and doesn’t let anything hold her back. But the slow and progressive onset of the disease has clear tell-tale signs which are becoming more and more obvious as time goes on. She can no longer drive and struggles with many day to day things, losing some of the independence she’s so well known for. “

Despite spending the last month in Namibia filming a documentary, Ms Wood continued her gruelling training despite the scorching temperatures.

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She said: “This is my second marathon and my job has helped me get in training.

“I’ve been trekking across the desert. I’m thrilled, excited and nervous about my big run and I’m so pleased to do something positive to help Alzheimer’s Research UK defeat dementia – no pain, no gain with this one!”

Thanking Ms Wood for her generous gesture, Miranda Mays, community fundraising Manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We can’t thank Victoria enough for taking on this challenge to support our world-class research and we wish her every success.

“Every �20 raised by Victoria will pay for another vital hour of research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure dementia.”

To help Victoria raise funds you can donate online by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/VictoriaWood2 or call Sharon Manison at Alzheimer’s Research UK on 01223 843899.

Are you running the Virgin London Marathon on April 17?

If so you can contact the newsdesk by calling 020 7433 6228 or email lorraine.king@archant.co.uk