October 16, 2015
Buffy runs half marathon for charity in memory of her grandfather

A former Highbridge school student has run a half marathon to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society in memory of her much-loved grandfather who passed away from the disease.

Buffy Beck, who went to Highbridge's King Alfred School and is now a student at Cardiff University, ran the Cardiff Half Marathon earlier this month, raising hundreds of pounds for the charity.

Her grandfather, Ronald Bailey, moved to Burnham in 1971 to work as a radio officer at Burnham Radio Station and retired in 1994 to help his wife run her upholstery shop in Burnham's Victoria Street.

A keen sailor in Burnham, he hoped to sail around the British Isles in his yacht Melody with his wife on her retirement, but sadly he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was too unwell.

Buffy says: "My granddad was 72 when he passed away - he was a compassionate and gentle man, but towards the end of his life he was bed ridden, unable to communicate with his loved ones and eventually unable to process food properly, causing him many trips to hospital."

She added: "Alzheimer's is a heartbreaking disease as it turns people you love into a person who is unrecognisable."

"My granddad was deeply loved by all of his family and seeing him part in such a horrible way was painstaking and we greatly miss him and the man he once was."

Buffy says her aim of running the Cardiff Half Marathon was to raise awareness and money for Alzheimer's and dementia so that the Alzheimer's Society can improve the quality of life for people diagnosed with it and one day hopefully find a cure.

Buffy, who is in her second year at Cardiff University studying biology, completed the half marathon in a time of 3 hours and 17 minutes.

"I greatly enjoyed the event as it was a sense of achievement and the support from the crowd and other runners was just overwhelming," she added.

Her Justgiving page is still open for donations here.

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