HE’S a regular competitor, but this year’s Great South Run will carry extra meaning for this leading GP.
Dr David Chilvers, a practice partner at Waterside Medical Centre in Mumby Road, Gosport, will run the 10-mile course for the sixth time.
But this year he will be raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society after his father Len, 81, was diagnosed with early-onset dementia late last year.
Dr Chilvers, who is also supporting The News’ dementia awareness Take Care Together campaign, said: ‘My parents have been supporters of the society for quite some time now.
‘I have taken part in the Great South Run five times and the last time I raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
‘But after my father was diagnosed with dementia, I thought it would be fitting to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.’
Dr Chilvers, who is head of the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, also says getting an early diagnosis of dementia helps all involved.
‘I have noticed a change in my dad – he doesn’t remember things as well any more,’ he added.
‘Of course he doesn’t like to admit he has dementia or give others that idea.
‘This is why getting a diagnosis is key because then you can start to get support for the patient and for the family members that suddenly find themselves become carers. That role is absolutely essential, and people in that position also need support.
‘Early diagnosis is key to an early prognosis and so it’s vital to get checked out if you are concerned.’
Dr Chilvers also advises people to take up exercise, which can help reduce your risk of developing dementia.
He added: ‘I love running and this will be my sixth time doing it.
‘And as well as helping others I’m helping myself because regular exercise reduces the risk of developing dementia, and that’s no bad thing.’
This year’s Morrison’s Great South Run is on Sunday, October 25, with junior and mini runs taking place the day before.
Organiser The Great Run Company is offering two places for the 10-mile course and two for the mini-run, to anyone who would like to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
David Hart, communications officer for the firm, said: ‘We are very pleased to support The News’ dementia campaign. There are so many different charities that are represented at the start line of the Great South Run each year, and the Alzheimer’s Society is definitely a worthy cause.
‘That’s why we’d like to offer two places with a hospitality pass for Sunday’s 10-mile route, and two places for Saturday’s junior run, to represent the society.’
Anyone interested in a free pass should email firstname.lastname@example.org
To sponsor Dr Chilvers visit justgiving.com/david-chilvers