The son of a Bicester woman who died with dementia last year is taking part in next Sunday’s London Marathon in her memory, to boost funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Peter Roycroft, aged 57, from Amersham, signed up for the 26.2-mile race across the capital just six days after “the matriarch of the family”, Jean Roycroft, died with combined vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, aged 89.
He hopes to raise at least £1,800 for the dementia research charity.
Mr Roycroft, a channels manager for EDF Energy, will be joined at the start line by two colleagues, Vivienne Hill from Kent, and Ashley Jarman from London.
Mr Roycroft said: “I want to help raise funds for a charity that is committed to finding a cure for this terrible disease.
“It may be too late for my mum, but not for future generations.
“Mum was a delight to be around until the end.
“She got to the stage of not being very responsive, but occasionally you’d see a glint in her eye.
“Mum was cared for by one of my sisters and she managed to stay at home in Bicester right up until her death last year.
“My father Jimmy was a Brigadier in the Army and when he retired they settled there.
“My mother was what you would now describe as a stay-at-home mum.
“She had five children and, being an Army wife, she had to deal with moving five kids and the contents of a house every few years.
“She was secretary of Bicester Tennis Club and played tennis well into her 70s.
“She also had a love for amateur dramatics and would act, direct, produce and even make costumes for both plays and musicals.
“She was very sociable and she led a very full and active life.
“Aside from her children she had nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, so she was very much the matriarch of the family.”
Mr Roycroft added: “I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that I’ll finish. I won’t be running it, I’ll be power walking, as my training in the Territorial Army exacerbated an existing knee injury.
“I had a couple of knee operations but the doctor basically told me there was a chance I wouldn’t be able to walk later in life if I continued running.
“I’m really looking forward to the race and raising funds for such a worthy cause.”