A man diagnosed with a rare form of young onset dementia stopped by Ceduna this week as he travels to shed a light on Australia’s number two killer.
Greg Kelly from Bonogin, Queensland, was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in January last year, at the age of 59.
He is one of 25,000 Australians living with younger onset dementia under the age of 65.
Mr Kelly said he was told on average he had six to eight years left to live but resolved to help shed a light on a terminal disease claiming many lives worldwide.
“I’m going to give 18 months or two years of my six years to shine a spotlight on this,” he said.
“It’s the number two killer in Australia and is predicted to be number one in 120 months.
“It’s number three in New Zealand, number five in the US and is already number one in the UK.”
Mr Kelly started his Kell’s Ride for the Future from Gold Coast on August 12 and arrived in Ceduna as he made his way toward Perth.
Before leaving on Monday morning Mr Kelly gave a talk at the Stepping Stones Drug and Alcohol Day Centre.
Mr Kelly said drugs and alcohol could lead to vascular dementia.
Aboriginal Drug and Alcohol Council SA chief executive officer Scott Wilson said Mr Kelly was spreading a great message.
“One of the things that I have a fear of is because of the rise of crystal meth, or ice…it’s going to lead to early onset dementia (in people) a lot earlier than if they live a normal life,” he said.
“It’s a really good message and the fact he is riding around to spread the message, I say good on him.”
After completing the Australia ride Mr Kelly will ride across New Zealand and the United States.
Mr Kelly said his goal was to get the top 500 companies in Australia to give just half a per cent of their profits to research for dementia as well as the other 10 biggest killers in the country.
“If a CEO steps forward on this they will be in good grace with their shareholders because everyone will be affected by this in some way,” he said.
People can find out more on the Kell’s Ride Facebook page or donate at www.gofundme.com/kells-ride-for-the-future.