Inseparable: Ken and Chloe spread the word on dementia

Ken Eaton and his dog Chloe ride around Australia for dementia research


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FRIENDS ON A MISSION: Ken Eaton and Chloe are using their travels to raise awareness of dementia and money for research into the devastating condition.

FRIENDS ON A MISSION: Ken Eaton and Chloe are using their travels to raise awareness of dementia and money for research into the devastating condition.

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Motorbike rider Ken and his pillion pooch Chloe have raised thousands for dementia research.

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OVER the past decade Ken Eaton, of Joondalup in Western Australia, and his dog Chloe have travelled around 200,000km via motorbike all over Australia raising money for dementia research.

Their mission began after Ken's wife Sue died 12 years ago, aged just 55, due to early onset dementia.

Ken and Sue were high school sweethearts and he spent five years caring for her after her diagnosis, with Chloe joining them in 2003.

"Chloe was her little caring dog, when Sue had forgotten everything else Chloe was her little pal to the end," Ken said.

The couple, who had three daughters, had always planned to travel around Australia on a motorbike and after Sue died Ken kept the dream alive.

Not wanting to leave Chloe behind, he created a special travel pod with a seat belt to keep the maltese/poodle cross safe.

The pair ride alone and also with the Ulysses Club's Joondalup branch, a group for motorcyclists over the age of 40.

Coming back from a trip one day Ken had the idea to start a charity, 'I Ride With Chloe to Fight Dementia'.

"I thought, I have got a little dog everyone wants to talk to. I got some stickers and badges with Chloe's image to sell to raise funds for Alzheimer's WA.

"If I stop and get petrol, often some grey nomads will see Chloe and come up for a chat.

"It's always been that way with Chloe. When Sue was in hospital the nurses told me all the other patients would sit and wait for Chloe to come and visit."

Over the years Chloe and Ken have raised around $5000.

Their story also raises awareness of the battle carers go through as their loved ones forget those around them.

"As a carer you go through hell and back, it is quite hard to express to people what you go through," Ken said.

He has written a small book of poetry, with narration by Chloe, about the experience of watching his soulmate slowly lose her mind and body to dementia.

"Poetry lets you describe in just a few words how you feel, and the book also shows that there is life after the darkness."

Dedicated to all those caring for those living with dementia, Who Are You Reflections of a Dementia Survivor can be found on www.whoareyou.store

Now nearly 16, Chloe is still sprightly and charming everyone she meets.

Throughout August Ken and Chloe will be taking part in the Black Dog Ride Around Australia 2019, a 33-day 15,500km ride, in honour of friends who recently lost their son to depression and in memory of an old friend who took his own life.

www.ridewithchloe.com

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