Luton friends pedal to Paris in aid of Alzheimer’s

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A Luton software tester whose father died at the age of 51 is taking part in July’s London to Paris Challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

He’s also holding a fundraiser at High Town Club on Friday (February 3).

Joe Le-Vien, 42, of Barnfield Avenue said: “I was only 15 when my dad Geoff died of complications from the disease in 1989 – his was one of the youngest recorded deaths from Alzheimer’s at the time.

“In those days it was quite a taboo subject. He was in care at Fairfield Hospital in Stotfold and my mum visited twice a week.”

Joe can recall exactly what he was doing when he heard the news: “I’d spent the evening jet-washing white hockey lines off Luton Town’s artificial pitch in preparation for the weekend’s match. When I got home I was told my Dad had passed away.”

What really upset Joe recently is that he’s now taking his mum to visit her sister Peggie who’s in a similar situation. “It’s almost 30 years later and there’s not been that much in the way of medical advancements,” he said.

So he and his best friend from Cardinal Newman days, Ryan Radford, have set themselves a target of £3,000. “We hope it will go some way to helping research or paying for the fantastic care arranged by the Society,” he said.

They’ve also booked Indie band Forte to headline the event at the High Town Club with Luton support acts Bowfinger, Exit Black and Liam Rowlands. It’s being hosted by top DJ Matt Crawley with everyone performing for free. Tickets are £7 from seetickets.com

> To sponsor Joe and Ryan go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheMadHatters2017