Bonogin local and Harley-Davidson rider Greg Kelly is determined to raise awareness for dementia worldwide, by committing to riding the length and breadth of Australia, New Zealand and the USA, starting on 6th May 2017.
Diagnosed at just 60, Greg, an ex-Financial Services Executive, is one of 25,938 people living with dementia under the age of 65.
The diagnosis came as a big shock to Greg and his family, but his determination to never give-up will see him take to his motorbike to raise funds and awareness, for everyone living with this condition.
He recently launched his big ride, “Kell’s Ride for The Future”, at Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld)’s A Night of Stars Gala in Brisbane, which raised over $25K to fund ongoing dementia support services around the state.
“In my previous life, I was a high achieving individual, working in the financial sector for some of the largest organisations in Australia,” said Greg.
“I’ve always had an active lifestyle and excelled in many sports, but after being diagnosed, I admit it was a big shock and a setback.”
“With the support of Alzheimer’s Australia and Harley-Davidson, together with Wyndham Hotel Group, Telstra and Shannon’s Insurance, I intend to ride my Harley, the length and breadth of Australia, New Zealand and the USA over the next nine months.”
“It will be a big challenge, but through this ride I hope to raise as much awareness as possible about this condition by talking to everyone I meet along the way and the pressures it can place on a family, especially when they are diagnosed younger in life.”
“People don’t realise it is the second highest killer in Australia and the third highest in the USA and New Zealand.”
“Everything I raise will go towards providing support and care for people living with dementia through Alzheimer’s Australia in each country and state.
“I have always operated my entire life and business with a diary and Alzheimer’s was not in my diary.”
“When I received my diagnosis, I needed to “know my enemy” and what I was up against in order to get my thoughts and feelings aligned.”
“This enabled me to get the correct assistance and treatment, but dementia is no small thing and there is no cure.”
“It is something I will live with for the rest of my life but I am determined to make a difference while I still can.”
“I am lucky that I have great mates and a great family that offer me support, as well as my dog Pep who knew something was up before my diagnosis. I’ve since trained him to be my “mind dog” (medical Assistance dog). Having this network makes life a little easier after a diagnosis.”
Show your support by going to, Facebook or Instagram, Kells Ride, and follow his journey.
Alzheimer’s Australia provides individualised information and support to improve the quality of life for people with younger onset dementia. For more information you can call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 or visit www.fightdementia.org.au
What is dementia?
Dementia is the term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses which cause a progressive decline in a person’s functioning. It is a broad term used to describe a loss of memory, intellect, rationality, social skills and physical functioning. There are many types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and Lewy Body disease. Dementia can happen to anybody, but it is more common after the age of 65.
Alzheimer’s Australia is the peak body for people with dementia and their families and carers. It provides advocacy, support services, education and information. An estimated 413,106 people have dementia in Australia. This number is projected to reach more than a million by 2056.
Media enquiries: Sibel Korhaliller, Marketing and Communications Manager, 0411 101 896