Hi Everyone, Feet are never the prettiest of features at the best of times. Have you ever met someone with beautiful feet? Maybe that should be our next MARIO survey? Apparently Megan Markle has feet with the ‘golden ratio’ – whatever that means. Recently my daughter entered us for Trek 26. This is a sponsored event […]23 Nov 2023
MARIO Connect September Introductory Message
September 16, 2023
Feet are never the prettiest of features at the best of times. Have you ever met someone with beautiful feet? Maybe that should be our next MARIO survey? Apparently Megan Markle has feet with the ‘golden ratio’ – whatever that means.
Recently my daughter entered us for Trek 26. This is a sponsored event where you walk 13 or 26 miles, and the money you raise goes towards research into Alzheimer’s Disease. We decided to go for the 26 – we have walked further in the past so a little training should be all we need, right? In this case, the 26 miles is along the south coast of England – a beautiful route. It was described on the website as, ‘very tough.’ How tough can it be? A stroll in the British countryside, with water stops along the way. Easy!
The reality was oh so very different. It was brutal! The elevations were really severe, our backpacks were heavy and the terrain was so rough. It also happened to be the hottest day of the year (yes I know it’s England, but the ice does melt occasionally). When I finished, after 10 hours and 5 minutes, my feet were a mess – blisters all joined together like one great balloon on each foot. Five days later, I still struggled to walk without feeling like I’m treading on nails.
However, as I walked, and talked with my fellow hikers, we all agreed that the pain we were experiencing was temporary, and in a way, gratifying. We felt like we were doing something worthwhile, and there was definitely a sense of achievement (and relief) at the end as we stumbled over the line to be presented with a glass of warm prosecco. The reality for those with Alzheimer’s is very different. They (and their families) are robbed of so many precious memories, and those last years that should be full of warm connections with family, are cruelly diminished. There’s nothing temporary about Alzheimer’s.
Recent breakthroughs in medical science have been really encouraging and hopefully we will soon find a cure for this awful affliction. My own dear father died with Parkinson’s, and whilst Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are clinically two very different diseases, they both remind us of how precious mental health is. At the moment, there are ways of reducing the associated risk factors but not preventing either of these diseases.
When we examine mental health in young people, research tells us that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24 (Mental Health Foundation). At MARIO Education, we prioritize the mental wellbeing of young people and ensure every child has a voice. Schools are doing such important work, nurturing children through these critical years, and we’re humbled to be able to play a part in this process. There are no quick fixes but the starting point has to be listening to our kids and being aware of their challenges.
We managed to raise over £1,600 and we’re still waiting to hear the total raised by the 600+ hikers. Fortunately for me, my feet are looking a little better now, although I’m no Megan Markle.