A former pro-boxer from Glossop is fighting his dementia head-on by undertaking the Great North Run this September in the hopes of raising vital funds for treatment.
Peter Flanagan, 61, originally played for Manchester United’s youth football team before he changed direction and dedicated his career to boxing.
He fought 32 times in the welterweight division, but was ultimately forced into retirement after suffering from severe boxing injury, which left him blind in one eye.
But in 2017, Peter quickly developed a number of symptoms that lead to a shock diagnosis of dementia pugilistica CTE, a form of chronic traumatic encephalopathy caused by repeated concussions which results in brain damage.
It is usually found in professional athletes and boxers who have been subjected to multiple head impacts.
It has left Peter with short-term memory loss, confusion, paranoia, agitation and occasional hallucinations.
Peter’s daughter, Tina Flanagan, 42, said their family and friends were devastated by his diagnosis – but said he was set on doing something positive.
She said: “Within an hour of receiving the news, Dad said he didn’t want to wait around and wait for his condition to get him, he wanted to come out fighting while helping others.
“He did an 80k trek across the Great Wall of China last year that raised nearly £10,500 for the Alzheimer’s Society with the help of our local community, and we’re really thankful for all their help.
“Dad also raised almost £1,000 that went to the Dementia Ward at Tameside Hospital by running the Manchester 10k.”
But after years of putting others first, the family is now fundraising to get Peter the pioneering treatment he needs.
Tina, who also runs her dad’s campaign pages, social media and blogs, said that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment is the best bet for Peter’s symptoms – but they need £3,000 to access it privately in Manchester.
To help raise funds, Peter has enlisted to do the Great North Run on September 8, with his friend Colin Jordan, who has supported him every step of the way since his diagnosis.
The Flanagan family has already raised a third of the money needed in just over a week on their gofundmepage, with £500 pledged by the British Boxing Board of Control.
If you’d like to donate to Peter’s cause you can find his gofundme page at http://www.gofundme.com/peter-flanagan-v-dementia-pugilistica or for more updates on his progress, follow his Twitter page @PeterFlanagan01