Lifeview’s Chief Financial Officer, James van Beek and Manager – Person Directed Care, Sarah Pettenon will soon be swapping their suits for boots – hiking boots that is, as they take on the grueling Kokoda Track in the aid of Alzheimer’s research and support.
In September, Dementia Awareness Month, they will join with Alzheimer’s Australia to trek the 96-kilometre Kokoda Track – a ten-day long, physically challenging experience, that will not only test their endurance but also their resilience.
A Registered Nurse, specialising in the care of those living with dementia, Sarah says she is undertaking the trek because, “On a daily basis I witness the impact dementia has on individuals and their carers.”
“For those affected by dementia they undertake a journey, which is not dissimilar to what Australian soldiers experienced in 1942 on the Kokoda Track. Despite being fit, healthy, young men when they joined the war, they faced reduced visibility that contributed to confusion and disorientation, an inability to see each other, and coordinate movement and advancement of the front line. The climatic conditions and terrain restricted mobility, and they were prone to illnesses,” Pettenon added.
Chief Financial Officer James van Beek says his reason for attempting the Kokoda Trek, “Is not only to conquer the obvious physical and mental challenges the terrain, and weather conditions will throw at me, but also to pay my respects to the WWII soldiers that repelled a Japanese invasion in one of the most significant battles fought and won by Australian soldiers during WWII.”
Both James and Sarah are currently undertaking an extensive training regime to prepare them for the trek. In addition, the pair, along with Lifeview residents, staff and families are pursuing a range of fundraising activities to underpin their efforts – including the raffling of a trailer full of household goods worth in the vicinity of $3,000.
All funds raised will go directly to Alzheimer's Australia Vic to help in their fight against dementia, a disease affecting far too many Australians and our country's second leading cause of death.
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