Felsted mum to swim, run and cycle to raise money for research into Alzheimer’s

Madeline Hawkes with her daughter Marcy Hawkes. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Madeline Hawkes with her daughter Marcy Hawkes. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A Felsted mum will battle the July heat when she competes in a triathalon to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Madeline Hawkes, whose grandmother and grandfather-in law have Alzheimer’s, will swim 800 metres, cycle 18 kilometres and run five kilometres in a triple crown race at Trifarm, in Borehamwood, on July 29.

As a speech and language therapist who treats patients in west Essex, including Dunmow and Thaxted, Madeline helps people with Alzheimer’s who have trouble swallowing food and drink.

Madeline, 30, who has completed four triathalons in two years and is a member of Grange Farm & Dunmow Runners, said: “My nan has Alzheimer’s and so does my husband’s grandfather. I see a lot of Alzheimer’s patients in my job so it just seemed right. It has been quite distressing for my family because my nan was living on her own and so you never really know how someone’s doing on their own. She now lives in a residential home.

“It is quite distressing for the person with Alzheimer’s because they lose their independence. It means my nan doesn’t recognise family members. She’s had a brother and two sisters-in-law die in the last year and when she’s told about that she can’t really clock what it means. My husband’s grandfather can’t sit still, he doesn’t know the time of day. It has taken a massive toll on him and his wife.”

Often people with Alzheimer’s don’t recognise when they are hungry, and so won’t know when to swallow or when to stop chewing, Madeline says.

Madeline crossed the finish line with her daughter Marcy Hawkes, 5, at a Southend triathalon on June 17.

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Madeline said: “She ran the last couple of hundred metres with me, shouting ‘mummy what took you so long?’ The race was really difficult... the swim was really rough and the waves were pretty much over my head, I couldn’t see where I was going. I just had to keep swimming.

“Last year I did a race and it was 32 degrees. When I started my run the heat hit me, there was no getting away from it. I feel excited for the race in July, I feel confident.”

To sponsor Madeline, go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Madeline-Hawkes1.