1. ITV Report

Man with dementia cycles 300 miles on his penny farthing - but may not remember it

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey.
Peter Berry has early onset dementia. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A man with early onset dementia is cycling across four counties on his penny farthing to raise awareness of the condition.

Peter Berry from Friston will take six days to travel through Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Norfolk, a journey of 300 miles.

Sadly he is likely to remember little or nothing of the trip.

"I knew what it was like to be at the darkest place that anybody could be and anybody shouldn't have to be, so I made it my purpose in life to raise awareness and to show people that if a normal guy just like me could get out and beat this dementia just like me and live well with dementia, then so could everybody else."

– Peter Berry
Peter on the road for his 300 mile cycle trip across four counties. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Peter is raising money for Young Dementia UK and is being escorted by friends.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's at the age of 50. He was running the family firm, a timber saw milling business, when the first symptoms appeared after a series of mistakes at work.

"There's an old saying, 'you only live once', that's ridiculous, you only die once, you live every day and that's what I intend to do."

– Peter Berry

Peter who is currently taking part in a Channel 4 programme 'The Restaurant that makes mistakes', says he want to show that people can live well with dementia.

"My mind was racing, I didn't know what to do, there was no support, nobody to turn to, I didn't know what to do. I was worried about losing the house, everything, because we had a mortgage, everything, it was a terrible, terrible time and I am pleased to say we have hit happier times now."

– Teresa Berry, Peter's wife

Peter currently has a blog in which he shares his experiences of living with dementia.

"He's gradually pulling back the curtains to say this is a terminal condition, but you can do these things and if I can do them , anyone can do them. I'm really hoping that his story becomes a little more widely known and people take notice, not just people with dementia, but people with other terminal conditions."

– Debs, Peter's friend