In the spirit of Valentine’s Day we caught up with Timothy Morris, a supporter of Dementia UK who has shown great love and generosity in supporting his girlfriend’s family as they face dementia. Timothy will be running in the Great North Run this September for Dementia UK. Three years ago it was girlfriend taking on the same race for the same cause. As he knew it was a charity close to her heart, he set up a secret fundraising page, ultimately raising over twice his £500 target. She didn’t know anything about it until the finishing line.
“Dementia UK is a charity very close to my fiancée’s heart, as her father, nan and great uncle have all been affected by the condition. Unfortunately, we lost her nan the month before she ran the Great North Run. Her father’s dementia is advanced and her mother took early retirement in order to care for him fulltime. Seeing the impact of dementia on this intelligent and witty man, is deeply saddening for my fiancée and her mother. My fiancée and I try to visit as often as possible and when we are with her father we both assist in his care. Next year I will move to Middlesbrough to care for him, whilst I complete my final year of medical studies.
“I was inspired to set up the fundraising page for my girlfriend because she was very shy at the time and didn’t want to hassle people by asking for donations, she was simply going to ask her family. Despite this, I knew that a lot of people would be more than happy to donate to such a worthy cause and to support one of the loveliest people you could ever meet. I set up the fundraising page to simply allow our friends to donate, should they want to, and I sent everyone private messages so that she wouldn’t find out. The response turned out to be overwhelming.
“I revealed that I’d set up the page for her after she had completed the event. She already knew that she had raised enough through family donations to match her pledge, but when I told her that over £1,000 had been raised she was overwhelmed (the heat and emotion of the day might’ve helped).
“I asked Rachel to marry me on my 21st birthday. About a month before I asked her, Rachel mentioned that if her dad was still fairly well when I graduated we could get married then. Although there had never been any doubt between us that we both planned to spend the rest of our lives together, I took this as the green light and decided to propose at the next opportunity. I waited until our families were together, as family is so important to both of us.”
Inspired by Timothy’s story? Find out how you can get involved