Josh is leaving the daily grind to take on daunting motorcycle trek across continents for Alzheimer’s charity

PUBLISHED: 09:44 05 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:44 05 July 2018

Josh Abbas will start his epic adventure in Alaska. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Josh Abbas will start his epic adventure in Alaska. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

A man from Dunmow is hoping to become the youngest person ever to complete a 30,000-mile motorbike ride from Alaska to Argentina, in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Josh Abbas, 21, has given up his job for the challenge and begins the motorbike ride on August 1 in Alaska and will finish in January in Argentina.

Josh has decided to raise funds for dementia research because his family used to own a care home group, where he met with residents regularly who had dementia.

“We had care homes all over the UK. I spent more Christmases than I care to think about in a care home, when my dad would be called in to work. I’ve seen first-hand the care that is provided to people with dementia.

“At the moment there is no cure for dementia. I wanted to raise funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK because I hope that researchers can find a new treatment that could prevent or even slow the condition’s development.

“There was one Christmas in particular that really struck home for me. One of the residents had dementia, and their family were visiting, but they didn’t recognise them. I was only 15 at the time and it wasn’t a very nice thing to see.

“Sadly, that resident passed away that same day. We need to give back to these people now through research.”

Josh was inspired to take on the trek after his dad undertook a similar journey in Mongolia two years ago.

Unfortunately, Josh wasn’t able to go on that trip after he broke his hip in an accident.

Now, he is determined to complete this challenge, and to raise £2,500 for dementia research.

He is aware of the risks associated with riding a motorbike, however he is determined to finish the journey, and his dad will be joining him.

Josh has had an interest in anything with an engine since before he could walk.

He formerly competed at the highest levels of British Go Kart racing, which he gave up to take up kite-surfing. He is also a keen traveller and is relishing the chance to see incredible places across the world on this trip.

He says that there is “still some terror” every time he gets on his bike.

He said: “The risks are enormous and there is every chance of failure. I’ve had to come to terms with the possibility of injury too, which is daunting.

“When I originally decided to do it, it was really exciting, but then I started to look at it pragmatically. I realised that I was going to have to give up my job and my life as I know it. I’m going to be unemployed for the first time in six years, which doesn’t sit well with me.

“I’m hoping that the experience will be worth it, and that in the process I can help raise much-needed funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

The journey ahead will be a long one for Josh. He will be flying into Vancouver ahead of the trip, and will travel to Deadhorse, Alaska, where he will begin the trip. He and his father are also flying their own motorbikes over so they can travel with their own equipment.

Holly Noon, regional fundraising officer for East Anglia at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are all blown away by Josh taking on this momentous challenge. We are really proud that he is joining us in the fightback against dementia by raising vital funds for research.

“There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, yet there are still no treatments that can slow or prevent the development of the condition. Our mission is to bring about the first life-changing treatment for dementia by 2025, but we can’t do this without the pioneering efforts of people like Josh.We couldn’t be more grateful.”

You can visit Josh’s website where he details his trek at: www.icefireandbikes.com.

You can donate to Josh at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/icefireandbikes.

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