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Woman raises thousands by shaving head after marathon attempt cancelled

PUBLISHED: 11:32 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:33 01 May 2020

After a woman’s plans to run the London Marathon in aid of charity were cancelled, she braved shaving her head and has raised thousands of pounds. Photos: Sophie Leggett

After a woman’s plans to run the London Marathon in aid of charity were cancelled, she braved shaving her head and has raised thousands of pounds. Photos: Sophie Leggett

Archant

After a woman’s plans to run the London Marathon in aid of charity were cancelled, she braved shaving her head and has raised thousands of pounds.

Sophie Leggett just before shaving her head for The National Brain Appeal. Photos: Sophie LeggettSophie Leggett just before shaving her head for The National Brain Appeal. Photos: Sophie Leggett

43-year-old Sophie Leggett, from Lowestoft, spent months gearing up to run in the London Marathon on behalf of The National Brain Appeal’s Rare Dementia Support (RDS) fund.

Mrs Leggett has the gene mutation for young onset Alzheimer’s, and previously ran the 26 mile race in London in 2018 to raise money for RDS - who have supported her after she was told at age 26 that she had a genetic link to young onset Alzheimer’s in her family.

READ MORE: ‘I had a complete meltdown’ - Mother speaks out about young onset Alzheimer’s

But still wanting to raise money for the charity after the marathon was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mrs Leggett decided to shave her head on the day of the marathon instead.

Sophie Leggett getting her head shaved live on Facebook. Photos: Sophie LeggettSophie Leggett getting her head shaved live on Facebook. Photos: Sophie Leggett

On a Facebook live video with nearly 100 people watching, Mrs Leggett shaved off all 26.2 centimetres of her hair, already smashing her £2,620 target by reaching £3,036.48.

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Mrs Leggett’s mother and aunt both developed symptoms of familial Alzheimer’s disease in their early 40s and died in their 50s. She says the RDs meetings that she regularly attends, alongside dementia research, changed her life.

“RDS has supported me, my family and many of my friends who come from families that are affected by rare forms of dementia and are continuing to do so in creative ways during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Mrs Leggett said.

Sophie Leggett after shaving her head. Photos: Sophie LeggettSophie Leggett after shaving her head. Photos: Sophie Leggett

READ MORE: ‘I cried all the way’: Woman, 43, shares story of how rare young Alzheimer’s has affected her family

“Being young and facing dementia poses very different issues; you may have a young family, be worried about losing your job and paying your mortgage. RDS has people who can advise and support people like us, something you can’t really find with other dementia organisations.”

Her marathon attempt turned head shave was all part of RDS’ 2.6 challenge, which involves fundraising by doing anything involving the numbers 2.6 or 26.

“Over the years RDS has enabled me to come to terms with what lies ahead for me and my family. I don’t like to think what my life would be like now without the support of RDS,” Mrs Leggett added.

To support Sophie’s fundraising for The National Brain Appeal’s Rare Dementia Support Fund go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/my-2-6-challenge-head-shave4357


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