This November, local man Kieren George will be cycling coast to coast across Costa Rica covering around 500 kilometers up and down hills, active volcanos, and through rainforest, all in a bid to raise money for The Alzheimer’s Society.
Kieren is raising money for the society after his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 11 years ago, and sadly passed away on boxing day, 2011.
“Personally I applied for the society, not the challenge. My father retired at 47 and he was diagnosed at 52. The charity believe about 43% of people with dementia recieve a formal diagnosis.
“My mother had been caring for him for 15 years and we kept him at home. My mother didn’t want to take him away from his home environment. The society say it’s best for people with dementia to remain at home. When someone stops doing something, they forget about it – so it’s important to be kept in a routine.”
For many carers, the struggle to find the support they need and levels of care available to people are different depending on factors including geographic location.
Money raised by Kieren and his colleagues goes towards the Live Well Campaign which exists to support these people.
“It’s a hidden situation. They are not the people you see out in town, they hide away and it’s not in the public eye.”
Kieren will be cycling alongside 35 people from the Lloyds Banking Group, with a personal goal of £4,000 and team goal of £140,000. The overall bank target is £2 million.
The money will be used to set up a carer program. Kieren said: “You watch someone that you love disappear, you’re caring for them and there is no training or support, and that’s what the £2 million is going to setup. The program will offer support to carers and advice and training in looking after loved ones who are suffering.”
Kieren has started his fundraising already. He held a race night on Thursday, July 5, at The Anchor Pub and raised a huge £1227, on August 10, he is running an information stand in Swan Walk with The Alzheimer’s Society, and on August 24, Kieren is running a 79’s glam night at The Anchor, with Glam-o-rama performing hits of the 70’s, enetry is a suggested donation of £2.
You can donate to the cause by visiting Kieren’s Justgiving page at www.justgiving.com/cyclecostarica or you can text ALZH57 followed by the amount to 70070.