Greg O’Shea runs marathon in memory of grandma who died of Alzheimer’s


Irish Love Island winner Greg O’Shea plans to run the London Marathon in memory of his grandmother, who died of Alzheimer’s while filming the hit series.

Imerickman Greg will run the TCS London Marathon in October to support the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Greg, who won the hit reality show in 2019, will walk in memory of his grandmother Monica Ho, who died of dementia while he was at the Love Island villa.

The 27-year-old will join hundreds of runners supporting Alzheimer’s Research UK at this year’s event on Sunday October 2nd.

The former Irish Rugby Sevens player, who attended the Tokyo 2020 games before announcing his retirement from the sport last year, is hoping to raise £10,000 for vital dementia research to help support the search for breakthrough dementia treatments.

Greg said: “My Nana was such a strong, independent woman. She has been so supportive of everything I have done and I really miss being able to call her for a cup of tea. She was a great woman.

“Unfortunately when she died I wasn’t home as I was on Love Island. But the nurses at the nursing home showed it on TV and I like to think she would have heard my voice in her last few hours. She was my number one cheerleader, whether it was my trials, track and field or rugby, she was always there and that was the best thing about her.

“Dementia affects so many families and there aren’t many people who don’t know someone who has it, but that doesn’t lessen the impact on the individual or the family,” Greg added.

“I vividly remember walking into the kitchen one time and she was looking at me with a really confused look on her face. I asked her if she was okay and it took her a few seconds to realize that I was. That’s when I knew things weren’t right. Shortly thereafter, she was placed in a nursing home.

“She would be so proud that I would run the London marathon for her. I’m not running on time – it’s just about finishing and collecting as much as possible for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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“The money I’m raising will support her research into early detection of diseases like Alzheimer’s. If we can detect these diseases earlier, we have the best chance of developing effective treatments. My hope is that families don’t have to struggle like I did.”

Shirley Cramer, acting managing director of Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “It is so wonderful that Greg has joined our running team and is running the TCS London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“By attending this iconic event, he not only raises vital funds for research in the memory of his beloved grandmother, but also helps bring much-needed spotlight to dementia and the importance of research to overcome it.

“We wish Greg and all our runners the best of luck on race day. The charity and our amazing volunteers will be cheering everyone on and making sure it’s a day to remember.” Greg O’Shea runs marathon in memory of grandma who died of Alzheimer’s

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