Nick Young and Pierre Sullivan will be riding for their families when they gear up for the inaugural Home Instead Bondi2Berry bike ride in September.
The pair, along with friend James Trude have launched the ride to raise awareness and funds to help find a cure for dementia and Alzheimer's.
Both Nick’s father and Pierre’s mother are living with dementia. James has worked in aged care since 2010 and has seen the stress the disease places on carers and family.
Nick’s 73-year-old father was officially diagnosed in 2011 but began experiencing the effects of the disease years before.
“It was probably about three to five years before that that we started noticing a slide,” Nick said.
“Dad loved cars so when he started returning home with scratches on the car and it was a bit banged up, that’s when mum knew she had to seek help.”
“Living with her partner of 35 years and seeing how life is being sucked away from him affects her emotionally and mentally.Nick Young
With full-time work and a young family to care for, Nick said he helps as much as he can but the disease has been devastating for his mother.
“Living with her partner of 35 years and seeing how life is being sucked away from him affects her emotionally and mentally,” he said.
“She’s now his primary carer and she’s exhausted, she’s drained and there’s a lot of self-doubt about what life should be and what it currently is.”
After signing up for the ride three months ago, Nick said the amount of people affected by the disease has surprised him.
“It’s incredible, I’ve been training or riding with these guys and girls for three years and in the space of two weeks since launching our fundraising journey, all our friends signed up,” he said.
“Everyone was saying they had a connection. There’s about 350,000 Australians suffering with dementia.
“It’s a really bad disease and that’s why we want to raise awareness with our bike ride.”
Around 40 riders will saddle up and take part, all contributing a minimum of $500 to the $20,000 fundraising target. All funds raised will go to Alzheimer’s Australia NSW.
Nick has set a personal target of $5000.
“I don’t like asking people for money but we really need to fund a cure for this terrible disease,” he said.
The ride will leave the North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday, September 10, tackling the 150 kilometre trek to Berry.
To make a donation visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Bondi2Berry-Ride-to-remember