A 41-YEAR-old military veteran who suffers from early on-set Alzheimer’s will meet an old friend on his bike ride through Britain.
Chris Graham, aged 41, and Lisa Hudson will reunite in Upton decades after they first met in the army.
She predicts that Mr Graham will pass through the town on Saturday, May 20.
Ms Hudson, aged 45, of Upton Road, Callow End, near Worcester, is calling on locals to come out and cheer on her friend as he completes his 934-mile ride.
“He’s trying to raise £80,000. I’m calling for people to come out. If people want to cycle with him they should,” she said.
“I think it’s inspiring what he’s doing, he wants to do everything he can before he can’t. I’m so proud and privileged to know him.”
Ms Hudson said they first met in the 1990s on a military proficiency promotional course.
They met again in 2014 when Ms Hudson was teaching adaptive skiing to veterans with injuries.
“When I saw his face I thought ‘oh it’s you’,” she said.
“The military is a strange family. You just bump into people.
“He came on one of those trips as he had early on-set dementia.”
Mr Graham hopes to raise £80,000 through his bike ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End, which started on Sunday, May 14.
The father-of-three was diagnosed with early signs of dementia in 2010 when he 34-years-old.
The disease is genetic and took the life of his father, grandfather, auntie and cousin all before they reached their 50th birthday.
He raised more than £50,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK through a 16,000-mile bike ride along the coast of Canada and America in 2015.
He said: “I like having something to work towards and I had been considering doing this for a while.
“It was also the perfect way for me to get fit and encourage people to talk about Alzheimer’s disease again, whether they know me or just see me during the ride.
“I want to raise awareness of dementia to help reduce the stigma around the condition and to raise money for research so future generations don’t have to go through what my family has been through.”
Mr Graham hopes to finish the ride in nine to 10 days.
His wife Vicky said: “Exercise always improves his concentration and being on the road on his bike keeps his mind active.
“He has to focus on where he is going, his surroundings and making sure his kit is in order.”
She said that Mr Graham and his brother are the third generation to be affected by dementia.
To donate please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Christopher-Graham8