Jun 24 2011 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Friday
DOUNE-BORN Jamie Graham has completed a second gruelling rowing event on the River Thames to raise cash for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Jamie, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at just 59, rowed 25 miles from Henley to Eton, joining a crew of veteran oarsmen for the Forget-Me-Not-Row.
This year’s event aims to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Jamie was brought up in Doune and served in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regiment during the 1960s. He now lives in Wiltshire.
He has had to give up driving and can no longer use a computer, read or write but his sense of humour remains intact and he still rides his bike, enjoys long walks and plays tennis.
He said: “It was brilliant to get the blades flashing in the water again to raise even more money for Alzheimer’s Research UK. This time we rowed in the opposite direction, from Henley to Eton, which proved slightly longer than going upstream.
“The crew are a talented lot and took it in shifts to join me on the water. My nephew Fergus Graham, a former junior world championship silver medallist, was on board and my eldest brother Colin, who lives near Doune, joined the crew again, together with my son Magnus, another ex-Argyll serviceman.”
He added: “I’ve been a keen oarsman since my school days and, although there are many things I can’t do now and words sometimes fail me, rowing is one activity I can still take part in. I’m very lucky to have the continued encouragement of my wife Vicki and family and friends.”
Miranda Mays from Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “We can’t thank Jamie and Vicki Graham enough for their determination to help us beat dementia and for taking on the mammoth task of organising the Forget-Me-Not-Row two years running.
“It’s incredible and we greatly appreciate the support and generosity of everyone involved.”
The rowers are still taking donations at www.forgetmenotrow.com.