Pitstone man takes on London Marathon in memory of dad killed by dementia

James Westcott (right) is running the London Marathon in memory of his father Peter (left)
James Westcott (right) is running the London Marathon in memory of his father Peter (left)

A Pitstone man will run the London Marathon to raise money for research into the rare form of dementia that killed his father.

James Westcott, 33, who lives in the village with his wife Lucinda and their 18-month-old son Hugo, will tie up his laces and take on the run on Sunday.

He will be raising money for The National Brain Appeal, the charity that raises vital funds for the National Hospital For Neurology And Neurosurgery.

It is where his father Peter, from Hemel Hempstead, was treated and took part in dementia research before he died in 2014, aged 72.

Peter was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in 2012, and is rare with just 16,000 people in the UK thought to be affected.

It is a form of dementia that can often affect younger people, typically in their 40s to 60s, and its symptoms are progressive.

Whilst Peter was 70 when he was diagnosed, although with hindsight his family recognise that he had the disease for at least 10 years prior to getting a diagnosis.

In the last nine months of Peter’s life he needed round-the-clock care. James’s mother Lindsay and his sister Alex were his main carers. His final days were spent in the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted.

James, who works in the renewable energy industry, said: “I am very lucky to have been raised by such wonderful parents.

“I miss my father dearly and my mother put so much into caring for him. They were married for nearly 50 years.

“I felt that by asking people to donate money I needed to take on something that would be a real challenge for me.

“Having said that, I am now looking forward to the day and I hope I do my father’s memory proud.”

The family will be out in force to support James as he takes on the marathon. Whilst James has always been sporty, running is not something he enjoys but he is determined to do his best on the day and to raise as much money as possible for his chosen charities.

To support James please visit his fundraising page here.