In March 2018 I lost my Dad - Geoff Dengate - to early-onset frontotemporal lobe dementia. It was crap. He was 66. Dad was smart, positive, kind, and upon hearing stories from his youth... a little bit of a rebel.
In June this year he would have turned 70. He should still be here. Dad and I always shared our birthdays... he is the 11th and I'm the 12th... so birthdays now are bitter-sweet. I want this birthday to be one to remember.
So, for our birthdays this year I have decided to run a half-marathon on Sunday 13th June in his honour and raise funds for the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research https://qbi.uq.edu.au/centres/CJCADR within the Queensland Brain Institute at UQ to help find a cure for frontotemporal lobe dementia.
People who have lost loved ones know they are forever in our hearts and minds, but every now and again we can be compelled to shine a light on their legacy.
Since he died I had been pondering what to do to challenge myself and apply the decades of motivational quotes Dad imparted. Most of my memories with Dad involved sport - running, basketball, cycling, swimming, surfing the big waves 'out the back' and hiking to name a few. He was the eternal sportsman... playing semi-professional basketball and obtaining a UQ Half Blue and Full Blue Medal (Basketball) in the 70s, rafting down the Franklin River, competing in the inaugural UQ triathlon 1983 (campaign picture), water-skiing, snow-skiing, cycling through Australia, France and Italy, hiking the mountains of Nepal, and completing several marathons. He did this before he had kids, with young kids, and long after we had grown up. He never stopped. Hence why I wanted to challenge myself, like him, and push the boundaries and limits to achieve something I know he would have supported and been proud of.
The furthest I've ever run is 10km (and I've only ever done that once) so this will not be an easy feat. I will need some help. If he was here... he would say "are you a woman or a wimp?" He always believed my sister and I were capable of anything. So Dad... here's me being a "woman" and getting this half marathon done!
If you'd like to run part of the course with me (either 1km or 5km or the whole thing)... that would be AMAZING! I'm doing this just as much to celebrate the legacy Dad left with me as I am to raise funds for research into frontotemporal lobe dementia.
Please do not feel any pressure to contribute financially to this cause. There are so many worthy causes out there. This is just the one that is close to my heart as I don't want to see anyone else suffer the way my Dad did.
Thanks in advance for your help and encouragement - be it physical, emotional or financial.
I've mapped out a course which takes me through the places that are meaningful to our family... the ring road at The University of Queensland (where we all worked / studied / ran / swam), past my primary school where I remember having to help him push start the car one afternoon, through the park I grew up in where he taught me to ride my bike, along Iona Tce where he showed me how to mow our lawn with a push mower, past my high school where he coached numerous basketball teams, up Broomfield St where we he showed me how to use a drill to put the house number on the carport, past the forest where we went running with our dog Zoe, and finishing at Auchenflower Basketball Stadium (where we spent almost half our lives). If you'd like to join me on the run please let me know :-)
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