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Man walks more than two hundred miles to Exeter for friend with Alzheimer's

Jon and John have been friends for 45 years. Photo: ITV News

A former Devon teacher has walked more than two hundred miles from Leicestershire to Exeter - in honour of one of his best friends who lives with Alzheimer's.

Jon Wills took on the challenge after his friend, John Poustie, was diagnosed in an effort to raise money for Age UK.

A great cause because he was yeah, I mean he was a phenomenal sportsman, phenomenal. The bloke is a legend and sadly affected by this horrendous disease and so I just thought it was a worth while cause to do.

– Jon Wills

Jon and Poustie, as he is known to friends, have been in each other's lives for 45 years so when Jon found out his close friend had Alzheimer's it was heartbreaking to say the least.

John Poustie was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at 69. Credit: ITV News

Poustie was 69 years old when he was finally diagnosed. He taught at Exeter School for 23 years, a job he loved and sadly these days, John still gets confused and has been known to turn up at the school.

The decline has been fairly quick really over the last four years and now I can't actually leave him alone in the house at all, I have to be there sort of 24 hours because he gets very, very strong delusions.

– Lindsey Poustie

Lindsey says the support of Age UK Exeter has been a lifeline and by walking around 18 miles a day, Jon's already raised more than £3000 for the charity.

The group cheers as Jon arrives in Exeter. Credit: ITV News

The great thing with us, with Age UK Exeter is all the money we raise in the city stays in the city so we support over a 1000 older people each and every week in Exeter, we've got over 250 fantastic volunteers, over 100 staff and we're here because unfortunately there are people like the Pousties and there are loads of them who are living with dementia and a whole load of other conditions.

– Martyn Rogers, Chief Executive, Age UK, Exeter

While Poustie may in many ways have changed, his and Jon's bond remains and if ever there was a true demonstration of friendship this surely is it.

Credit: ITV News