Four to cycle 2 200km 'from border to beach' to raise funds for Alzheimer's caregivers

2019-08-21 15:33

Later this week, the Border2Beach team - consisting of four amateur cyclists and good friends – will cover 2 200km on road bikes, in a bid to raise funds for more caregivers trained in dementia care in South African communities.

The trip will start at the Beitbridge border and will end in Cape Town on September 7. The 14-day adventure aims to raise R200 000 which, according to Border2Beach, would be enough to train 80 caregivers.

SEE: What are the types of dementia?

Globally there are an estimated 50 million people living with dementia – a term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory, thinking, behaviour, and the ability to perform everyday tasks – of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form.

The team consists of brothers Struan and Lyle Anderson, whose late father suffered from dementia, as well as friends Gareth Myles and Simon Clayton.

"My father’s illness and subsequent death from Alzheimer’s in August last year made us appreciate how devastating this disease is on those diagnosed with the condition and how unprepared we were as a family to cope and support my father through the process," said Lyle Anderson.

What started as a tribute ride by the brothers in memory of their late father has grown into what is today the Border2Beach brand.

Awareness, reducing stigma, education

Said Struan Anderson: "We have learned that people affected by dementia in rural communities are often ostracised or even beaten, as their symptoms are misunderstood".  

Border2Beach has three primary objectives, raising awareness around dementia, reducing the stigma around the condition through education and raising funds for caregiver training in collaboration with Alzheimer’s SA.

READ: 1972 VW Beetle set to head from Jozi to Romania to raise funds for child heart surgeries

Lyle added that he hopes that the initiative "will generate exposure and decrease the stigma around the disease while raising funds to train caregivers that can assist those in low income communities that would otherwise be unable to access vital nursing care".

And, given that September is Alzheimer’s month, the Border2Beach initiative hopes to continue raising awareness even after the completion of the ride.
Read more on:    health
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