Edinburgh man celebrates 50th birthday with cycling challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Businessman, Douglas Anderson, has finished an impressive cycling challenge – pedalling across 50 demanding mountain passes during 2015 to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

For every mountain pass he conquered, he donated £50 to the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Paired with the money he gained through sponsorship, Douglas raised an incredible £5,500.

Douglas lives a busy life, working as a partner of actuarial advisory firm, Hymans Robertson. When he reached his 50th birthday, he wanted to do something to challenge and stretch himself. After his father was diagnosed with dementia last year, he was determined to combine this challenge with raising money for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The father-of-two has been a keen cyclist for many years, so decided to make the most of his hobby.

Douglas tackled 50 mountain passes, also known as cols, most of which were in the Alps. The challenge included an intense stint doing the Haute Route from Geneva to Venice, which meant cycling over 20 passes in one week.

Douglas Anderson after completing the challenge
Douglas Anderson after completing the challenge


Douglas wanted to support Alzheimer’s Research UK in honour of his father, John Anderson, who is cared for at home in Dundee by his wife, Mary. They met in Germany when they were in the Royal Army Medical Corps and Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps respectively.

Before he retired, John was a consultant pathologist at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, with a special interest in neuropathology. His work has allowed his son to gain a special insight into dementia and the need for research funding.

Douglas explained why he chose to support Alzheimer’s Research UK: “It’s so important that we fund research into dementia, because it could truly improve the lives of future generations. We need to see increased progress in dementia treatments, but this can only happen if more research is devoted to the condition.

“I hope that by doing this challenge, I might be able to increase understanding of dementia and dispel the myths surrounding it. The more that people know about dementia, the more they’ll realise it’s something we can beat.”

There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, a number which is expected to rise to over 1 million by 2025.

Hannah Reynolds, Community Fundraising Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Thanks to fabulous fundraising efforts like Douglas’, we are closer than ever to finding a treatment for dementia. The condition is not a normal part of ageing – it’s caused by brain diseases.

“Only research can help us prevent and treat dementia. We’d like to thank Douglas for doing this amazing challenge and for supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visitwww.alzheimersresearchuk.org.

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